Economic crisis and the relevance of matriliny and chiefship among the Asante of Pranum District, Ghana
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This thesis explores the continued relevance of matriliny among the present-day Asante of Pranum District in Ghana. At the core of this investigation is Domeabra-Owerriman Traditional Area which is in a state of crisis caused by the decline in cocoa production and the superimposition, by government edict, of the World Bank's 'Structural Adjustment Programme'. An examination of household economic strategy in Domeabra-Owerriman reveals that, as in the traditional past, in the face of ecological and economic catastrophes Asante continue to invoke matrilineal notions. These days such notions are especially pertinent in respect of the organisation of overseas migration. The thesis reviews the organisation of the traditional chiefship institution, and examines its continued relevance to Asante. Engaging with the anthropological literature on matriliny, it argues that, in the present-day world, chiefship crucially supplies legitimacy and value to matriliny, and thus underpins it as an important institution for the articulation of Asante affairs. As a citizen of Domeabra-Owerriman myself, an overseas migrant in both Norway and Britain, and a recent contestant for a local chieftaincy, my own vivid impression and experiences supply much by way of the ethnography reported in this thesis.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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