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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Political Organization of Traditional Gold Mining: The Western Loby, c. 1850 - c.1910
Author:Perinbam, B. Marie
Periodical:The Journal of African History
Geographic term:Burkina Faso
gold mining
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
History and Exploration
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/182351
Abstract:Gold production in the Loby region to the west of the Black Volta (Burkina Faso) in the precolonial period was exclusively in the hands of lineages grouped in largely autonomous little towns, 118 in the area under study. Government was not centralized, but operated at three levels of lineage organization. At the first level, 'sukula' or units of residence for each self-governing kin group joined together as the wards of each town, under a resident chief. At level II, each kin group came under the authority of the head of its lineage, who lived in one of the larger, 'chiefly' towns perhaps several days' journey away. At level III, this lineage organization for the Mande speakers was linked to the Mande-Jula capitals outside the Loby region. So far as gold was concerned, this three-layered political system was a commercial organization which brought producers and distributors together in response to market demands. Until the end of World War I, Loby gold production remained largely in the hands of traditional miners, who retained their links with the old commercial-political lineage system. Notes, ref.