Originally published in 1967 this volume presents studies of 10 West African kingdoms which have played an important part in the economic, political and cultural life of the region. Ranging geographically from the kingdom of Benin in southern Nigeria to the Wolof kingdom of Kayor in Senegal, they inlcude the Oyo Yoruba, Dahomey, Hausa, Maradi, Kom in West Cameroon, the Mossi, Ashanti and Gonja and the Mende chiefdoms of Sierra Leone. Each outlines the historical origins and development of the kingdom and analyses its organization in the nineteenth century. It includes accounts of the economic basis and resources of the state and the significance of tribute and trade, of the social categories among its population, the administrarive machinery and communnications, the judicial and military organization and external relations. It also considers the importance of the ideology and rituals of kingship.
1. Introduction Daryll Forde
2. The Kingdom of Benin R. E. Bradbury
3. The Yoruba Kingdom of Oyo
4. The Kingdom of Dahomey
5. A Hausa Kingdom: Maradi Under Dan Baskore, 1854-75
6. The Kingdom of Kom in West Cameroon
7. The Mossi Kingdoms
8. The Over-Kingdom of Gonja
9. Ashanti Government
10. The Mende Chiefdoms of Sierra Leone
11. The Wolof Kingdom of Kayor
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 https://www.routledge.com/ or available as pdfs from the publishers.