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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The politics of tradition in Africa
Author:Ross, RobertISNI
Year:1993
Periodical:Groniek: onafhankelijk Gronings historisch studentenblad
Volume:27
Issue:122
Pages:46-55
Language:English
Geographic term:Africa
Subjects:legitimacy
history
Abstract:One basic problem that all African States faced at independence was the very fact that they had been dependent. Their extents were the result of the colonial partition of the continent and often bore relatively little relationship to power relations or cultural division which had preceded the European conquest. Thus they had no history as coherent units, except for that which they may have developed during the nationalist struggle against the colonial powers. Once the struggles had achieved their aim, the unity which they sometimes created needed other sources if it was to be maintained. One of the most potent sources of symbolic unity was to be history. This paper examines a few of the creatively wrong ways in which the leaders of independent Africa have presented the history of the continent. In particular, it pays attention to two sorts of myths about the past which African leaders attempted to forge, the myth of the glorious past and the myth of merry Africa. Notes, ref.
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