The Web of Kinship Among the Tallensi: The Second Part of an Analysis of the Social Structure of a Trans-Volta Tribe, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Web of Kinship Among the Tallensi

The Second Part of an Analysis of the Social Structure of a Trans-Volta Tribe, 1st Edition

By Meyer Fortes


386 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9781138592032
pub: 2020-05-01
SAVE ~$9.00
Available for pre-order. Item will ship after 1st May 2020
Hardback: 9781138591981
pub: 2018-08-22
SAVE ~$27.00
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780429490200
pub: 2018-08-16
from $22.50

FREE Standard Shipping!


Originally published in 1949, this book takes the analysis of Tale social structure further. It shows how the patriarchal principle regulates domestic life and thus moulds individual development among the Tallensi. The analysis of the inter-connexion of Legal, econoic and personal relationships sheds new light on the general problems of social organization in patriarchal societies, both in Africa and elsewhere.

Table of Contents

1. Introductory

2. Kinship and the Lineage System

3. The Homestead and the Joint Family

4. Husband and Wife in the Structure of the Family

5. Parents and Children in the Framework of the Lineage

6. The Moral Basis of the Relationship of Parent and Child

7. The Genetic Development of Parent- Child Relationships

8. Tensions in the Parent-Child Relationship

9. Grandparents and Grandchildren

10. Siblings in the Social Structure

11. The Web of Extra-Clan Kinship

About the Author

Meyer Fortes was a South African-born anthropologist, best known for his work among the Tallensi and Ashanti in Ghana. Originally trained in psychology, Fortes employed the notion of the "person" into his structural-functional analyses of kinship, the family, and ancestor worship setting a standard for studies on African social organization. His famous book, Oedipus and Job in West African Religion (1959), fused his two interests and set a standard for comparative ethnology. He also wrote extensively on issues of the first born, kingship, and divination.

About the Series

African Ethnographic Studies of the 20th Century

Routledge is delighted to be re-issuing 79 volumes originally published between 1931 and 1988 in association with the International African Institute. Unavailable outside a few key libraries, many of these republished volumes were at the cutting edge of a fieldwork and ethnographic revolution in African anthropology in the decades after 1930. It involved the production of a wide body of fieldwork-based ethnographic documentation about the cultures of the different societies in Africa. Secondly, it saw a methodological turn to intense, localized investigations of cultural tradition and social change in a rapidly modernizing context. These investigations involved a more sustained and systematic, more professional and ‘scientific’ form of immersion and participant observation, than anything that had gone before. The sites of engagement were urban as well as rural; the pioneering researchers were female as well as male. No longer was the journal essay the repository of the latest research in the discipline, but rich ethnographies running into hundreds of pages.

The volumes are supplemented with maps, which will be available to view on or available as pdfs from the publishers.


Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies