This paper provides an overview of the dynamic interplay between the recourse to ethnic identity and the allocation of land rights in the Sefwi Wiawso and Juabeso Bia districts of the Western Region of Ghana. The issue under scrutiny is a classical one and has attracted the attention of legal analysts, anthropologists, geographers and historians working in the Akan area of West Africa.1 My contribution is centered upon three issues. First, my focus is on an area of limited size – what was recognized as the Sefwi Wiawso kingdom - in which I have followed different archival traces (national, regional, palace archives, private contracts) concerning a relatively long time span. This detailed ethnographic history reveals crucial shifts in key local notions, suggests reasons for such alterations and explores the consequences in terms of regulations concerning the granting of agricultural rights to ‘strangers’. Second, I explore the interplay between national and local edicts regulating foreigners’ access to agricultural land. ‘Ethnic’ decrees concerning land tenure have often been ignored in favor of the study on national legislation or simply considered contemporary translations of traditional custom. I show that norms governing land tenure passed by Sefwi ‘traditional rulers’, the body of recognized chiefs, have been very dynamic and have often challenged national legislation. Third, I examine the social repercussions of transformations in the legal framework. Local legislation has been extremely relevant in the daily practice of ethnic relations shaping both the involvement of different groups in the productive process and inter-ethnic tension.
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|Data di pubblicazione:||2005|
|Titolo:||Indigenous Blood and Foreign Labour: The ‘ancestralization’ of landrights in Sefwi (Ghana)|
|Titolo del libro:||Landrighs and the politics of belonging in West Africa|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||Capitolo/Saggio|
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