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Periodical issue Periodical issue Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Gandah-yir: the house of the brave: the biography of a northern Ghanaian chief (ca. 1872 - 1950)
Editors:Gandah, S.W.D.KISNI
Lentz, CarolaISNI
Periodical:Research Review (ISSN 0855-4412)
Geographic term:Ghana
Subjects:traditional rulers
local history
colonial history
biographies (form)
About person:Birifu Naa Gandah (ca 1872-1950)
Abstract:In 1917, Birifu Naa Gandah I (1872-1950) - or Gandah-yir ('the house of the brave'), as his father called him - was enskinned as chief of Birifu in Lawra District of what is today northwestern Ghana. He came to play an important role in the Lawra Confederacy Native Authority and was what could be called a 'modernising' chief. In this supplement to the journal 'Research Review', Gandah's son narrates the story of Gandah-yir, the Gandah family, and of the Birifu Naa's relations with villagers and neighbouring chiefs as well as the colonial officers who were stationed in Lawra or passed through Birifu on their tours of inspection. The story opens up a window on every-day life under colonial rule from the perspective of a chief who successfully juggled the expectations of colonial administrators, his own power interests and the welfare of his subjects. At the same time, the story is punctuated with the author's reflections on the efficiency of indigenous cures and their relation to Western medicine, the value of oral tradition and local memory versus documents penned by colonial officers, and the rationality of indigenous beliefs that the Catholic missionaries refused to appreciate. The text of the manuscript is preceded by an editorial introduction on the author, the text and the editing process. [ASC Leiden abstract]