Cambridge studies in social anthropology: Contexts of kinship by Esther N. Goody
Cambridge University Press, 1973
Soft Cover, 335 pages
In her study of domestic organization in Gonja, a formerly important West African state, now part of Ghana, Esther Goody has concentrated on tracing the interrelationships between political and domestic institutions in a bilateral kinship system, untypical of the area. After outlining the problems which she is seeking to solve and describing the domestic, political and economic context of life in central Gonja, the author examines the several aspects of marriage fundamental to the establishment of domestic groups and their development. The practice of sending children to be reared by kin is then discussed and is related to the strong ties binding kin together however far apart they may live. Dr Goody examines patterns of residence through time, and seeks to relate these to both the political context and the form taken by authority in the kin group. The study concludes with a comparison of the Gonja system with other bilateral and unilineal African kingdoms, and the book is completed by appendices presenting the statistical material gathered during research.