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4. The coast of Guinea in the dutch archives

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Chapter Summary

The rigorous local administration of the Dutch government on the Coast of Guinea, both in the West India Company (WIC) period and under State government, allows for a detailed study of many African historical themes. This chapter looks at three issues: 1) Ghanaian and West African polities and political organisation; 2) Ghanaian and West African social-economic history; 3) Ghanaian cultural history. The complexities of the political relations led to a steady stream of reports and correspondence by the Dutch authorities, which form a solid base for further historical research. In the nineteenth century, the 1837/38 conflict between the king of Ahanta and the Dutch government was reason for extensive reporting also. In the case of Ahanta, the Dutch documentary sources form a useful and valuable complement to oral historical traditions from the area. The Dutch sources give us some information about Ghana's rich cultural past.

Keywords: Ahanta; Coast of Guinea; Dutch; Ghana; West India Company (WIC)



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