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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Foundations of the modern native states of northern Ghana
Author:Bening, R.B.ISNI
Geographic term:Ghana
Subjects:indirect rule
traditional polities
Abstract:Before the establishment of British rule northern Ghana consisted of disparate political entities and ethnic communities. There were the kingdoms of Dagomba, Gonja, Wala, Mamprusi and Nanumba, some of which were on the verge of disintegration as a result of dynastic disputes and the incursions of slave raiders. There were also the so-called acephalous societies without powerful potentates and easily identifiable political structures. British colonial administrative policy in northern Ghana was dictated by political expediency and economic necessity. From the outset, the aim of the government was to administer the country through the medium of the chiefs and to appoint British officers to districts in which they would exercise general control and supervision. The present article discusses how to these ends the collapsing kingdoms were reconstituted and how hitherto independent settlements were welded together to form cohesive communities under colonial domination known as native states and which have become entrenched as traditional areas. Fig., ref.