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Book chapter Book chapter Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Structure of the Mamprusi kingdom and the cult of naam
Author:Drucker-Brown, SusanISNI
Book title:The Study of the State
Geographic term:Ghana
Subjects:Mamprusi polity
kingship rituals
Abstract:A study of the ritual processes associated with Mamprusi kingship suggests that the structure of this state can be described as a system of courts, each of which is a congregation of the cult of 'naam'. A court consists of a single 'sovereign', and at least two titled 'advisors' or 'elders'. Naam is coeval with kingship. It is an element brought into the region by the first king, Na Gbewa. Through the courts of the kingdom, naam is continuously allocated, 'returned' and reallocated to be embodied in successive kings and chiefs. The usefulness of viewing a court, rather than a descent group or a territorial segment, as the basic component of centralised political authority in the Mamprusi kingdom is that with it one can see how the territorial basis of the system is a relationship between spatially discrete groups which does not necessitate systematic control from the centre of land or people at the periphery. Unification may be accomplished by rituals which connect local communities to one another and ultimately lead to a single source of 'power' at the centre. Noten, bibliogr.