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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Asante: the perception and the utilization of the environment before the twentieth century
Author:Boaten I, Nana Akwasi AbayieISNI
Periodical:Research Review
Geographic term:Ghana
subsistence farming
Abstract:Throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth century the Asante of Ghana engaged in hunting, fishing, gathering and farming. Each is described in turn. None of these activities were regarded as major economic concerns. As a result they did not feature in the deliberations of the Asante royal court and were left relatively undeveloped. Farming was practised on a purely subsistence level. The farms were characterized by mixed cropping cultivated under a bush fallow system of farming. At the beginning of the eighteenth century, yam and plantain dominated. In the nineteenth century maize spread very rapidly. During the second half of the nineteenth century cassava and the new cocoyam were introduced. Farming was regarded as women's work and all attempts by early European visitors to convince the Asante to grow kola and cotton on plantation basis failed because commercial cultivation did not interest the court. The Asante hunter, fisherman and farmer all used very simple tools and the level of utilization of the environment reflected the level of technology. There was no great pressure on the land and the environment appeared undisturbed. Bibliogr., notes.