By John E. Korasick

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Extra resources for Collecting Africa: African Material Culture Displays and the American Image of Africa, 1885-1930 (Phd. Thesis)

Sample text

As discussed later, common lineage funds (the “family pot,” for example) were also used for other purposes, such as education, business, and funerals. A group of extended families cohabitating in a place but in different huts would form the village or maximal lineage. For example, Ovambo villages in Namibia are subdivided into clans and each clan into families. The next unit up would be the town, a collection of related villages. The hierarchical structure might then extend to the tribe, the province, and ultimately to the kingdom in the case of monarchies or the empire.

The okpara was usually the head of the senior branch of the family, and he was the holder of the family ofo—a staff symbolizing the ancestors. The various classifications are presented below: IGBO English Equivalent Mba (Obodo) Mbam (Ogbe) Onumara Umunna Umunne Village Group Village Lineage (Extended Family) Family group Nuclear Family Among the Tswana, The smallest of these (units) was the family household, consisting of a man, his wife or wives, dependent children and other dependents. Several different households, linked patrilineally through a common male ancestor and situated close together in the same village, made up a family group.

Included in this chapter is a discussion of African beliefs and philosophical tenets. Chapter 2 is an examination of the indigenous legal institutions. Native courts of law were in existence in Africa before the Europeans arrived. This chapter looks at procedures for court cases and how conflicts pertaining to property rights were resolved by the native courts. There have been four main categories of political organizations in Africa. Chapter 3 discusses government in the stateless societies and chiefdoms.

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