Ideology and the Formation of Early States


Eighteen authors from 10 countries offer an assessment of the role of ideology in the emergence and development of early states. In a comparative perspective the significance of ideology in the processes that led to formation of states in Europe, Africa, Meso-America and Polynesia is discussed by specialists in the fields of anthropology, history and archaeology. Special attention is given to subjects such as the concept of ideology, regional comparison, the reconstruction of ideologies on the basis of archaeological data, gender relationships, coercion, legitimacy, sacred kingship, and ideology and change (in an introductory chapter) and a concluding discussion.
The findings of this volume will not only be of interest to anthropologists, historians and archaeologists, but to all those interested in the complex interaction of ideological and political developments.

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Henri J.M. Claessen, Ph.D. (1970) Amsterdam, is Emeritus Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Leiden University, The Netherlands. His main fields of interest are the evolution of socio-political organization, early state formation, traditional Polynesia. He has published widely on these subjects. Jarich G. Oosten, Ph.D. (1976) University of Groningen, is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Leiden University, The Netherlands. His main fields of interest are structuralist anthropology, early European cultures, Arctic cultures. He has published on Indo-European mythology and Arctic religions.
Preface, Henri J.M. Claessen and Jarich G. Oosten Introduction, Henri J.M. Claessen and Jarich G. Oosten WEST AFRICA Ideological problems and the problem of ideology: reflections on integration and strain in pre-colonial West-Africa, Patricia A. Shifferd The sacred ruler as the ideological centre of an early state. The precolonial states of the Bight of Benin Coast, Natalia B. Kochakova Intellectual elites and the production of ideology, Thomas Fillitz Ideological and symbolic authority: political culture in Nanun, Northern Ghana, Peter Skalník Ideology and dynamics in Dìì chiefdoms. A study of territorial movement and population fluctuation (Andamawa Province, Cameroon), Jean-Claude Muller CENTRAL AND NORTH ASIA Spiritual geography and political legitimacy in the eastern steppe, Thomas T. Allsen The role and contents of ideology in the early nomadic empires of the Eurasian steppes, Elçin Kürsat-Ahlers Ideology and the formation of an early state in Northeast China, Sarah M. Nelson SOUTH AND SOUTHEAST ASIA Ideology and the nature of political consolidation and expansion: an archaeological case, Shereen Ratnagar Lack of limits – cultural aspects of state formation in early continental Southeast Asia, Renée Hagesteijn Indigenous power, hierarchy and dominance: state formation in Orissa, India, Akio Tanabe EUROPE Ideology and the development of European kingdoms, Jarich Oosten Oral tradition, dynastic legend and legitimation of ducal power in the process of the formation of the Polish state, Michal Tymowski MESOAMERICA Class and state in Aztec official ideology, Frederic Hicks Hegemonic culturation and work in state formations, Donald V. Kurtz POLYNESIA Embodied Ideas. An essay on ritual and politics in pre-capitalist society, Thomas Bargatzky Ideological perspectives of the development of kingship in the early states of Hawaii, Martin van Bakel Ideology and the Formation of Early States: Data from Polynesia, Henri J.M. Claessen Discussion and considerations, Henri J.M. Claessen and Jarich G. Oosten Contributors Index
The book is of interest to anthropologists, historians, archaeologists, political scientists and all those concerned with the complex interaction of ideological and political developments in processes of state formation.