n Institute of African Studies Research Review - Asante queen mothers : precolonial authority in a postcolonial society




While the Asantehene and the Asantehemmaa are well known figures in Ghana, less familiar are the many queen mothers who function in parallel roles to chiefs in every Asante town and paramountcy. Ignored by the British and generally bypassed by modern Ghanaian leaders, queen mothers have nevertheless continued to serve their constituencies faithfully. More recently, however, globalization has discovered them, and external sources are beginning to seek them out for local projects. Yet, queen mothers continue to face serious obstacles as a precolonial female authority in a postcolonial society.


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