Speaking for the Chief: Okyeame and the Politics of Akan Royal Oratory (African Systems of Thought)

ISBN 10: 0253368014 / ISBN 13: 9780253368010
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"... offers readers profound insights and useful information on the power of the word in African societies... " —Research in African Literatures

"I would recommend  Speaking for the Chief not only to students of West African culture, by whom it should be greatly welcomed, but also to anyone intersted in issues surrounding specific genres of discourse in relation to cultural organization." —Journal of American Folklore

"Drawing on the interdisciplinary modes of sociolinguistics, political anthropology, and the ethnography of speech, Yankah allows the reader to hear a little-known and even less studied ‘voice’ integral to Akan chiefly power. This book deserves the serious attention of Akan and Africanist scholars alike." —Choice

"... an unprecedented opportunity to understand West African oratory from the point of view of a native Akan speaker who is also a gifted linguist and ethnographer.... [Yankah] shows with elegance the connections between verbal strategies and the cultural organization of West African social systems." —Alessandro Duranti

"This study is clearly important in ethnographic terms... But it equally throws new light on more general aspects of verbal and political processes.... will stimulate both specialists and students far beyond the confines of its specific ethnographic setting." —American Anthropologist

"... an immensely valuable book which deserves a wide and appreciative readership." —Journal of African History

From the Back Cover: Among the Akan of Ghana and in other areas of West Africa, royal speech is not articulated with a single voice, but is rather a composite of the chief's words and their artistic relay by the royal orator and principle diplomat, the okyeame. The author shows the art of okyeame to be not simply a genre of speaking but a speaking, but a set of cultural practices that mediate and reconstitute local notions of power, hegemony, and public discourse.

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Title: Speaking for the Chief: Okyeame and the ...
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Kwesi Yankah
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Kwesi Yankah
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Yankah, Kwesi
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