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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Notse's Ancient Kingship: Some Archaeological and Art-Historical Considerations
Author:Quarcoopome, Nii O.
Periodical:African Archaeological Review
Geographic term:Togo
Notse polity
traditional polities
History and Exploration
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Anthropology and Archaeology
Abstract:The author examines the town of Notse (Togo) in the framework of a broad-based art-historical investigation of precolonial leadership among the Ewe and their Dangme neighbours. The paper's objective is two-fold. First, it examines the precolonial history of Notse, focusing on the value of particular archaeological monuments (the ancient wall) in contemporary politics. Previously a symbol of oppression, Agorkoli's wall (the particularly tyrannical ruler Agorkoli is believed to have ordered the construction of the wall) has now become an emblem of unity for the Ewe. It is an object of veneration during an annual festival known as 'Agbogboza'. Second, the paper attempts to erase the enigma that presently enshrouds the town's ancient kingship. Comparisons of extant kingship regalia (bead bracelets, hats, staffs and stools) in Notse with those of its eastern neighbours - the Fon, Yoruba and Edo - place Notse's evolution within the broader context of West African political history. In conclusion, the paper looks at the following questions: what was the precolonial kingdom of Notse like; what precisely was the nature of its ancient leadership; to what extent is it similar, in terms of its features of articulation, to other kingships to the east of it; and last, how may the viability of the kingship in the changing political environment of Notse be assessed. Bibliogr., sum. in English and French.