Ethnicity and the long-term perspective. The African Experience – Alexander Keese (ed.) – CEAUP Studies on Africa vol. 1 – Peter Lang, 2010



  • Introduction ----------------- -------------------------------------------9
    PART 1: East and South-East Africa

  • EDUARDO MEDEIROS AND JOSÉ, CAPELA Processes of Identity-Building in the Zambesi Valley: Ethnic Solidarity and the Zambesian Ethos --------------------35


    Kinship, Religion, Language and Political Control: Ethnic Identity among the Peoples of the Zambesi Valley ---67

    Vernacular Ethnic Stereotypes: Their Persistence and Change in Southeast Tanzania, ca. 1890-2003 ---------------------------- 93


  • PART 2: Coastal West Africa


  • The Historicity of Ethnicity: Mandinka/Jola and Ewe/Agotime Identities in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries --------------------- 127


    Tchon I RenansaColonial Governance, Appointed Chiefs and Political Change in Portuguese Guinea'--------------------- 155 

    Who's King Tom? Being a 'Temne', `Mandinka' or `Susu' between Identity, Solidarityand Ethnic Shifts in Early Nineteenth-Century Siem Leone -------------------------- 191


  • List of Maps Group

    Labels and Settlements in the Zambezi Valley and in Pre-colonial Mozambique (1500-1900)--------------------- 33

    Group Labels and Names of Settlements in Tanzania (German East Africa, British Tanganyika), since 1890 ----------- 34

    Settlements and Political Entities in Sierra Leone, early 19th century ------------------------------------------------------- 124

    Settlements and Group Labels in the Gold Coast (Ghana)  Togo Border Region, from 1800 ------------------------------------- 125

    Settlements and (Administrative) Regions in Casamance (Senegal), the Gambia, and Guinea-Bissau ------------------------------------- 126


Alexander Keese (ed.)
Ethnicity and the long-term perspective
The African experience

Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2010. 215 pp., 5 ill.
CEAUP Studies on Africa. Vol. 1
Edited by Alexander Keese, João Carlos Garcia and Maciel Santos
ISBN 978-3-0343-0337-8 pb.
sFr. 50.– / €* 34.20 / €** 35.20 / € 32.– / £ 28.80 / US-$ 49.95

The debate about ethnicity in sub-Saharan Africa has come to an uneasy consensus in the 1990s, but it has to be asked if we are really close to a solution. How can comparative and historical views help to inform the debate? In this work, seven scholars bring in a long-term perspective to ethno-cultural solidarities, which they explore within a multi-disciplinary framework. This return to the ‘heart of the ethnic group’, twenty-five years after Elikia M’Bokolo’s and Jean-Loup Amselle’s path-breaking reinterpretation of ethnicity in Africa, argues for a reappraisal of approaches to ethnicity that have been adopted in recent decades. Focusing on two major geographical regions of the African continent – Senegambia including Guinea-Bissau and Sierra Leone, and the area of Southern Tanzania and the northern half of Mozambique –, the chapters in this volume provide a new historical interpretation of the processes of identity-building in sub-Saharan Africa.

Contents: Alexander Keese: Introduction – Eduardo Medeiros/José Capela: Processes of Identity-Building in the Zambesi Valley: Ethnic Solidarity and the Zambesian Ethos – Malyn Newitt: Kinship, Religion, Language and Political Control: Ethnic Identity among the Peoples of the Zambesi Valley – Felicitas Becker: Vernacular Ethnic Stereotypes: Their Persistence and Change in Southeast Tanzania, ca. 1890-2003 – Paul Nugent: The Historicity of Ethnicity: Mandinka/Jola and Ewe/ Agotime Identities in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries – Philip J. Havik: Tchon I Renansa: Colonial Governance, Appointed Chiefs and Political Change in ‘Portuguese Guinea’ – Alexander Keese: Who’s King Tom? Being a ‘Temne’, ‘Mandinka’ or ‘Susu’ between Identity, Solidarity and Ethnic Shifts in Early Nineteenth-Century Sierra Leone.

The Author: Alexander Keese is Assistant Professor and Marie-Curie Scholar at CEAUP, University of Porto, Portugal. He has published various articles on the Portuguese and French late colonial states in sub-Saharan Africa, and he is the author of the book «Living with Ambiguity: Integrating an African Elite in French and Portuguese Africa, 1930-61».


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