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Speaking for the Chief Okyeame and the Politics of Akan Royal Oratory

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ISBN-10: 0253209463

ISBN-13: 9780253209467

Edition: N/A

Authors: Kwesi Yankah

List price: $19.95
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Description:

. . . an unprecedented opportunity to understand West African oratory from the point of view of a native Akan speaker who is also a gifted linguist and ethnographer. . . . [Yankah] shows with elegance the connections between verbal strategies and the cultural organization of West African social systems. Alessandro Duranti Among the Akan of Ghana and in other areas of West Africa, royal speech is not articulated with a single voice but is rather a composite of the chief's words and their artistic relay by his orator and principal diplomat, the okyeame. In the royal entourage the okyeame is the most conspicuous personage, functioning as the chief's mouth and ear: the individual through whom the chief speaks and through whom others' words may reach the chief. This little-studied phenomenon receives comprehensive exploration in Kwesi Yankah's engaging Speaking for the Chief, a theoretically informed work rich with firsthand observations. Yankah shows the art of the okyeame to be not simply a genre of speaking but a set of cultural practices that mediate and reconstitute local notions of power, hegemony, and public discourse.
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Book details

List price: $19.95
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Publication date: 7/1/1995
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 208
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.50" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.748
Language: English

KWESI YANKAH is Associate Professor of Linguistics at the University of Ghana. He is the author of The Proverb in the Context of Akan Rhetoric: A Theory of Proverb Praxis.

Acknowledgments Prologue
Introduction
Okyeame: A Theoretical Framework
Mediation: The Evolution of Royal Diplomacy
Oratory in Akan Society
Women and Rhetoric
Orator and Chief: The Politics of Immunity
OListening So The Chief May HearO: The Circuit of Formal Talk
Interpreting the ChiefOs Word
Without His PatronOs Voice Epilogue: The KingOs Exit Glossary of Akan Words
Bibliography
Index