Item description for African Chieftaincy in a New Social and Political Landscape by E. Adriaan B. van Rouveroy van Nieuwaal Rijk van Dijk...
Many contemporary studies of African chieftaincy are devoted to unraveling "chiefly tradition." These studies have tried to unmask chieftaincy as an artifact of modernist projections of colonial rule, missionary activity and postcolonial state formation. African chiefs and their authority have often been focal points of social and political power, and in the creation and subjugation of ethnic groups. Research on chieftaincy reveals continuities and discontinuities that are highly pertinent to understanding African societies today. This research forms the core of this volume.
Chiefs are shown to be highly varied in their responses to state authority and to the wishes and demands of their subjects. They are analyzed here in light of the many diverse forces that determine their positions, their symbolic functions, and the resources they can mobilize within African societies and polities. New light is also shed on the pre-colonial history of chieftaincy and on its diasporic spread to places inside and outside Africa. The book will give further breadth and depth to the study of contemporary African chieftaincy.
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