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Government In Native African Empires

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Chapter Summary

African societies that were independent or autonomous governed themselves with or without chiefs or kings. Others came under the hegemony of stronger political groups in the ancient empires that were once numerous in Africa. There were differences in imperial rule, generally in the degree of independence or autonomy allowed subjugated people, as well as flexibility and liberty to preserve their cultures. At one end of the spectrum were the Asante and the Zande who adopted the "indirect rule" paradigm, allowing their vassal states extensive autonomy. At the other end were the Islamic empires such as the Mandinka, where conscious efforts were made to supplant existing cultures. This chapter discusses each type in detail. Some of the types include: the Zulu kingdom; the ancient empire of Ghana; the Wolof empire; the Oyo empire; the kingdom of Benin; the Kanuri empire; the Kingdom of Kuba; and the empire of Mwene Mutapa.

Keywords: African societies; Asante; Islamic empires; Kanuri empire; Mandinka; Oyo empire; political groups; Wolof empire; Zande; Zulu kingdom

10.1163/ej.9781571053374.i-586.41
/content/books/10.1163/ej.9781571053374.i-586.41
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