Arhin, Kwame. Peasants in 19th-century Asante

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Publication Information


Title: Peasants in 19th-century Asante

Published in: Current anthropology -- Vol. 24, no. 4

Published By: Current anthropology -- Vol. 24, no. 4 Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1983. 471-480 p.

By line: Kwame Arhin

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: HRAF, 2000. Computer File

Culture: Akan (FE12)

Subjects: Urban and rural life (369); Real property (423); Production and supply (433); Retail marketing (443); Lineages (613); Territorial hierarchy (631); Cities (633);

Abstract: In this article Arhin examines if the Asante was a peasant society prior to its incorporation into the world capitalist system in the nineteenth century. He discusses land ownership (owned by matriclans) and the organization of production. According to Arhin, the Asante production unit is ‘conjugal’ and includes husband, wife, adolescent children, pawns, and slaves. ‘The state heavily extracted surpluses from all producers for its upkeep and for the purpose of military and political expansion. (474)’ Arhin also finds that the residents of the capital Kumasi (KUMASIFO) considered themselves more civilized than villagers (KURASEFO) from the surrounding countryside. Based on this evidence, Arhin concludes that a peasantry did exist in Asante before the colonial period. The document includes the comments of eight scholars and Arhin's response.

Document Number: 35

Document ID: fe12-035

Document Type: Journal Article

Language: English

Note: Includes bibliographical references (p. 479-480)

Field Date: Not Specified

Evaluation: Historian-4

Analyst: Ian Skoggard ;1999

Coverage Date: 1600-1900

Coverage Place: Ashanti; Ghana

LCSH: Akan (African people)


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