The Introduction of Chieftaincy

Lentz Carola

in Ethnicity and the Making of History in Northern Ghana

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print July 2006 | ISBN: 9780748624010
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652969 | DOI:
The Introduction of Chieftaincy

Show Summary Details


Britain put the Northern Territories under its control in order to prevent European rivals from establishing themselves along the trade routes from Kumasi to the north. As part of their pacification of the region and the mobilisation of labour to carry goods and build roads, the British decided that ‘native chiefs’ were to be the pillars of a ‘scheme of government of the simplest and most economic form’. This chapter deals with the introduction of chieftaincy in the formerly chiefless societies of North-Western Ghana, a process guided by colonial officials' normative ideas of ‘tribes’ and ‘native states’. It also explores how the chieftaincy was subsequently appropriated locally and analyses the competing paradigms by which the new chiefs were legitimised, as well as the interplay between local ‘strongmen's strategies and British interventions.

Keywords: Northern Territories; Britain; North-Western Ghana; chieftaincy; tribes; native states; chiefs; strongmen; pacification

Chapter.  17935 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: African Studies

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.