The Web of Kinship among the Tallensi: The Second Part of an Analysis of the Social Structure of a Trans-Volta Tribe
Publisher: Oxford University Pres for the International African Institute
Place: London and New York
xiv+358 pages with plates, figures and index. Octavo (8 1/2" x 5 3/4") bound in original publisher's blue cloth with gilt lettering to spine in original jacket. From the library of professor George M Foster. Second edition.
The Tallensi are a tribe of the Frafra people of northern Ghana, numbering a few tens of thousands. They speak Talni, a dialect of the Frafra language, and maintain an agricultural mode of subsistence. The Tallensi homeland is covered by the Tallensi Traditional Area, and consists mainly of open savanna.
Meyer Fortes was a South African-born anthropologist, best known for his work among the Tallensi and Ashanti in Ghana.Originally trained in psychology, Fortes employed the notion of the "person" into his structural-functional analyzes of kinship, the family, and ancestor worship setting a standard for studies on African social organization. His famous book, Oedipus and Job in West African Religion (1959), fused his two interests and set a standard for comparative ethnology. He also wrote extensively on issues of the first born, kingship, and divination. Fortes received his anthropological training from Charles Gabriel Seligman at the London School of Economics. Fortes also trained with Bronislaw Malinowski and Raymond Firth. Along with contemporaries A. R. Radcliffe-Brown, Sir Edmund Leach, Audrey Richards, and Lucy Mair, Fortes held strong functionalist views that insisted upon empirical evidence in order to generate analyzes of society. His volume with E. E. Evans-Pritchard, African Political Systems (1940) established the principles of segmentation and balanced opposition, which were to become the hallmarks of African political anthropology. Despite his work in Francophone West Africa, Fortes' work on political systems was influential to other British anthropologists, especially Max Gluckman and played a role in shaping what became known as the Manchester school of social anthropology, which emphasized the problems of working in colonial Central Africa.
George McClelland Foster, Jr born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on October 9, 1913, died on May 18, 2006, at his home in the hills above the campus of the University of California, Berkeley, where he served as a professor from 1953 to his retirement in 1979, when he became professor emeritus. His contributions to anthropological theory and practice still challenge us; in more than 300 publications, his writings encompass a wide diversity of topics, including acculturation, long-term fieldwork, peasant economies, pottery making, public health, social structure, symbolic systems, technological change, theories of illness and wellness, humoral medicine in Latin America, and worldview. The quantity, quality, and long-term value of his scholarly work led to his election to the National Academy of Sciences in 1976. Virtually all of his major publications have been reprinted and/or translated. Provenance from the executor of Foster's library laid in.
Foster's stamp to title page. Jacket sunned darkened at spine and hinges, light edge wear, slightly soiled else a very good copy in like jacket.
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