Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
In My Time of DyingA History of Death and the Dead in West Africa$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

John Parker

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780691193151

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691193151.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 26 May 2022



(p.155) 10 Poison
In My Time of Dying

John Parker

Princeton University Press

This chapter explores the cultural register of poison and poisoning on the Gold Coast and in its forest hinterland. European apprehension about guileful native poisoners is certainly part of this story, but as the chapter argues, these anxieties, far from simply being febrile orientalist imaginings, were in part derived from African perceptions of the quotidian ubiquity of poison — both medicinal and magical. The chapter investigates its cultural terrain by way of a sequence of episodes beginning at Accra in 1745, moving to the Asante court at Kumasi in the 1790s to 1810s, and then back to the Gold Coast in the mid-nineteenth century, when accusations of poisoning began to emerge in British colonial courts. Ultimately, the chapter studies the spectrum of vernacular concepts encapsulated by the term 'poison'. It then examines the poison in the Akan world and its discrete materiality and an extensive and unstable semantic range.

Keywords:   poison, poisoning, Kumasi, British colonial courts, Akan world

Princeton Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.