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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Limba 'Deep Rural' Strategies
Author:Fanthorpe, RichardISNI
Periodical:The Journal of African History
Geographic term:Sierra Leone
rural economy
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
History and Exploration
Economics and Trade
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/183328
Abstract:The Upper Guinea Coast of West Africa was incorporated within the Atlantic economy at an early date. While the historical literature on this region tends to emphasize local entrepreneurship and adaptability, recent studies on globalization/modernity have also cited cases where crises of trust and identity in global social systems engender a renewed search for local moral communities. This article examines whether the Limba of Sierra Leone represent such a case. The first part reviews documentary sources pertaining to the Limba in general, while the second part examines the history and historical legacy of Biriwa, a 19th-century Limba polity that appears to have been instrumental in both creating and exploiting localized communities. The Limba have often been considered as one of the most deeply autochthonous 'peoples' of the region. The alternative interpretation put forward in this article is that the Limba may represent a 'deep rural' society: an enclave found on the margins of metropolitan society, whose occupants, periodically replenished from outside, consciously seek to maintain their freedom from institutional metropolitan cultural constraints. The importance of rice production in the Limba economy and its relation to historical Konte (Biriwa) control over rituals concerning rainfall are also considered. Notes, ref., sum.