‘The History of Ashanti Kings and the Whole Country Itself’ and Other Writings
Available on backorder
The History of Ashanti Kings and the Whole Country Itself is a key text for understanding the history of the great West African kingdom of Asante (now in Ghana). It is also an early–and perhaps the earliest–example of history writing in English by an African ruler and his amanuenses. It was begun in 1907 in the Seychelles on the instructions of the Asantehene Agyeman Prempeh I, who had been in British captivity with his family since 1896, during which time he had acquired proficiency in English.
The chief source of information was his mother the Asantehemaa Yaa Kyaa, who possessed an encyclopaedic knowledge of the oral history of her own lineage, which was also the royal dynasty of Asante. The result is an indispensably detailed document that charts the history of the Asante monarchy from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries. Context is provided by the inclusion of other writings by or about Agyeman Prempeh, together with four introductory essays by the world’s leading scholars of Asante history.
This fascinating volume evokes the rich historical experience of a renowned kingdom, and is of compelling interest to all concerned with the production of indigenous historical knowledge in Africa.