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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Tradition Meets Modernity: C.C. Reindorf and His 'History of the Gold Coast and Asante': A Late 19th Century Voice From Urban Accra
Author:Hauser, Heinz
Periodical:Transactions of the Historical Society of Ghana (ISSN 0855-3246)
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Ghana
West Africa
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
History and Exploration
Religion and Witchcraft
Urbanization and Migration
History, Archaeology
Tradition (Philosophy)
Cultural property
About person:Carl Christian Reindorf (1834-1917)ISNI
Abstract:Carl Christian Reindorf (1834-1917) was one of the first African Basel Mission pastors and author of the 'History of the Gold Coast and Asante' (1895). Researched and written from the 1860s to the 1880s, Reindorf's 'History' contributed a historical dimension to the ongoing political and economic debates within urban Accra (capital of present-day Ghana) of the last decades of the 19th century and further influenced colonial decisionmaking as well as Gā political action well into the 20th century. This paper examines aspects of 'modernity' and 'innovativeness' in Reindorf's views and opinions as evidenced in his published English-language 'History' and in his two handwritten Gā manuscripts of 1891 and 1912, which are kept at the Basel Mission archives in Switzerland. The paper shows that, for Reindorf, history was the key to progress, and cultural expressions were the unwritten constitution. Both had the function to bind the Gold Coast people together. Certain aspects of Reindorf's way of thinking were unique and reemerged only in post-independence times. With his interactive and community-based approach to the production of a national history he was ahead of his time. Bibliogr., notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]