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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Land, power, and dependency along the Gambia river, late eighteenth to early nineteenth centuries
Author:Sarr, Assan
Periodical:African Studies Review (ISSN 1555-2462)
Geographic term:Gambia
Subjects:land tenure
social classes
social history
External link:https://doi.org/10.1017/asr.2014.94
Abstract:The role of power over people and over land is an important issue in West Africa, with important implications for relationships between commoners and elites. Along with conquest, slave raiding, marriage, and procreation, control over land has enhanced the ability of chiefs and other elites to gain control over people, thus increasing their production and reinforcing social hierarchy and centralization of power. This article utilizes oral evidence and European documentary sources to examine the importance of the concept of 'wealth-in-people' for understanding the significance of land in African societies. By focusing on the Gambia region, where both paddy and upland rice farming were practiced in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, the article contributes empirical observations to support the argument that control over both land and people played a central role in the accumulation of wealth in many African societies. Bibliogr., notes, ref., summary in English and French. [Journal abstract]