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In My Time of DyingA History of Death and the Dead in West Africa$
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John Parker

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780691193151

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691193151.001.0001

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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

Reordering the Royal Dead

Reordering the Royal Dead

(p.291) 18 Reordering the Royal Dead
In My Time of Dying

John Parker

Princeton University Press

This chapter narrates Agyeman Prempeh's return to Asante in 1924 from exile in the Seychelles. It unfolds how he had changed in the course of his 28 years in detention and repatriated as a private citizen, Mr Edward Prempeh. Two years later, having cemented a reputation among British officials as a progressive figure, he was appointed 'Kumasihene', head of the reconstituted Kumasi division of colonial Ashanti. That said, in his own mind and in those of his people, Agyeman Prempeh remained Asantehene. Despite his embrace of Anglicanism and colonial modernity, Prempeh was acutely conscious of this historical role and worked assiduously until his death to heal the wounds of the past and to ensure a reinvigorated future by attending to the dignity of the royal dead. The chapter examines his project, which took the form of three interconnected campaigns: to reorder the dominion of the dead in Kumasi; to rebuild the destroyed mausoleum at Bantama; and to repatriate the remains of those who died in the Seychelles and elsewhere. Together, they constitute a key episode in the political life of dead bodies in colonial West Africa.

Keywords:   Agyeman Prempeh, Asante, Seychelles, Kumasihene, Anglicanism, colonial modernity, Kumasi, Bantama, West Africa

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