The Parameters of Asante Historical Consciousness

Autore: Tom McCaskie
In: Africa. N.S. I/1,2019
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This paper follows on from recent contributions I have made to the problem of the nature of history as conceived of by the Asante. Here I am concerned with the issues surrounding consciousness of the past as history, memory and/or un- knowing. The core of the paper, from which broader arguments are teased out, is a detailed treatment of the richly documented but somewhat neglected ritual per- formance of ‘the dance of death’ (tͻprɛ). If the paper has an underpinning it is the thought that African history as lived, experienced and thought about by Africans needs to be grounded anew in an approach that eschews the paradigms imposed by western historiography and ethnography. Simply, I call for deep and sustained long-term research into speci c African cultures like Asante, so as to unravel the complexities bound together in and by certainty and uncertainty.

keywords: asante, dance, death, african history, oral traditions; tͻprɛ