Forests of Gold: Essays on the Akan and the Kingdom of Asante


The Asante had unique conceptions of time and motion, and the relationships between the unborn, the living and the dead. This study suggests that awareness of their past has much to do with the survival of their culture in this century.

Read More Show Less
... See more details below
Paperback (New Edition)
$28.95 price
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (12) from $22.81   
  • New (6) from $22.81   
  • Used (6) from $28.94   
Sending request ...


The Asante had unique conceptions of time and motion, and the relationships between the unborn, the living and the dead. This study suggests that awareness of their past has much to do with the survival of their culture in this century.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Wilks’ writing here is as informed, engaged and questing as ever.”

— T.C. McCaskie, University of Birmingham, African Affairs

“Wilks is willing to take risks, and even make mistakes, for the sake of opening discussion and expanding knowledge. … Forests of Gold is impressive history. One comes away awed at the level of historical reconstruction Wilks has accomplished, demonstrating a level of analysis that has not been achieved regarding almost any other precolonial African state, and which has been achieved here because of Wilks’s forty years of commitment, sensitivity, integrity, and belief in the profession of history and the history of African peoples.”

— Donna J.E. Maier, University of Northern Iowa, The International Journal of African Historical Studies

“Wilks’ contribution to our understanding of the history of Asante and that of other Akan-speaking peoples is incalculable. It is evident not only in his own work but in that of the published research of the many talented students he has directed during a long, fruitful career.”

— Richard Rathbone, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, Journal of African History

A collection of essays on the Akan peoples of Ghana with particular reference to the most powerful of all their kingdoms: Asante. Beginning with the global and local conditions under which Akan society assumed its historic form between the 15th and 17th centuries, these essays go on to explore various aspects of Asante culture: conceptions of wealth, of time and motion, and of the relationship between the unborn, the living, and the dead. The final section is focused upon individuals and includes studies of generals, of civil administrators, and of one remarkable woman who, in 1831, successfully negotiated treaties of peace with the British and the Danes on the Gold Coast. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780821411353
  • Publisher: Ohio University Press
  • Publication date: 11/1/1995
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 405
  • Sales rank: 1,526,898
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

Tables and Maps
Ch. 1 Wangara, Akan, and Portuguese in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries
Ch. 2 Land, Labor, Gold, and the Forest Kingdom of Asante: A Model of Early Change
Ch. 3 Founding the Political Kingdom: The Nature of the Akan State
Ch. 4 The Golden Stool and the Elephant Tail: Wealth in Asante
Ch. 5 Dissidence in Asante Politics: Two Tracts from the Late Nineteenth Century
Ch. 6 On Mentally Mapping Greater Asante: A Study of Time and Motion
Ch. 7 Space, Time, and "Human Sacrifice"
Ch. 8 What Manner of Persons Were These? Generals of the Konti of Kumase
Ch. 9 What Manner of Persons Were These? Officials of the Kumase Administration
Ch. 10 She Who Blazed a Trail: Akyaawa Yikwan of Asante
Sources Cited
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)