Monday, October 15, 2012

A Rather Complex Ethnic Map

For some reason I am on the supervisory committee of everybody here doing an honors thesis (Long Essay) or PhD on ethnic conflict in the north east of Ghana. I think it is because I have written about issues of ethnic repression in the USSR. But, there are not a lot of similarities between the USSR and north east Ghana. The area is extremely complex and there are land based ethnic disputes between Kokombas and Nanumbas, Mamprusi and Kusasi, and Gonja and Nawuri. Unlike other areas of Ghana no dominant power such as the Asante was able to assert hegemony and assimilate the surrounding smaller groups. So the area has a lot different ethnic groups in a small area. After the partition of German Togoland between the British and French following WWI the land conflicts intensified. The British removed all the "Kaiser Chiefs" and with them the lands attached to certain ethnic groups. Only ethnic groups that had chiefs before the Germans colonized Togoland were allowed to keep their lands under the British. Later events have put even further pressure on land in this region of Ghana. Trying to follow the history of the numerous ethnic conflicts over land in northern Ghana is not easy. I think I am going to have to go and read up on the existing secondary literature on the subject.

No comments: