Originally published in 1967 (second edition) presents an account of the life and social organisation of the Lo Wiili of the Haute Volta and Ghana. Chapters on the geographic and ethnographic background and economic system are followed by a detailed analysis of Lo Wiili social organisation which in its broad outlines is typical of the general area. Of particular theoretical interest, however, is the co-existence in the one society of both patriclans and matriclans and the way in which the Lo Wiili see themselves not as a boundary-maintaining group ('tribe') but define themselves by cultural criteria which are relative to the group with which they are being compared. The study is also concerned with the traditional role of the Earth Shrine in maintaining social control, a widespread feature of West African societies.
Table of Contents
1. The Commandant 2. Colonial Society 3. The Native Territories 4. Native Policy 5. The Chiefs 6. Law and Custom 7. The Sphere of the Divine 8. The Peasant Community 9. The African World
Sir John Rankine Goody, FBA (27 July 1919 - 16 July 2015) was a British social anthropologist. He was a prominent lecturer at Cambridge University, and was William Wyse Professor of Social Anthropology from 1973 to 1984.