Book Reviews

The Economic, Social and Political Impact of Mining on Akyem Abuakwa from the Pre-Colonial Era up to 1943

“In this volume, Emmanuel Ababio Ofosu-Mensah considers the history of the area associated with the Akyem Abuakwa Kingdom and presently, known Akyem Abuakwa state, in southeastern Ghana. While the kingdom was disadvantaged by its inland location, it benefited greatly from its mineral wealth-in both gold and diamonds. However, the ambiguous benefits of gold are well-known, as is told in the myth of King Midas and his greed for gold that almost led to the death of his beloved daughter. These aspects of gold were evident in Akyem Abuakwa as labor-intensive traditional gold mining was supported by the king and his sub-chiefs.

Through their division of the profits from gold nuggets, they amassed great wealth which enabled them to purchase European firearms and to display gold regalia during festivals, thus reinforcing their political power. Yet they were dependent on the labor of slaves and pawns, which ended in the Gold Coast Colony after 1880. With the British occupation of Asante in 1896, several European mining firms sought to obtain gold-mining concessions in Akyem Abuakwa. This situation, which led chiefs to essentially sell land to mining firms, resulted in much land lost to foreign control. However, the traditional ruler, Nana Ofori Atta I, sought to reign in concessions by initiating a new property rights system in kingdom. The author argues that the funds accrued through this new system controlled by the king were used to benefit the community through education and to address some of the social and health problems brought about by scientific goldmining in Akyem Abuakwa.

There is a proverb associated with the Akan gold weight (used to measure gold dust currency during the precolonial era) depicting a bird with its head turned back-known as Sankofa. The proverb, “pick it up if it falls behind you,” refers to the need to learn from past and to amend earlier mistakes. Ofosu-Mensah’s detailed study of the problems associated with gold, labor, and land and the political leadership that emerged to address them provides material with which to think about the present.” - Elisha P. Renne, Professor Emerita, Department of Anthropology and the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies, University of Michigan, USA

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Studies of Rhesus Monkeys and their Behaviors

“The Rhesus monkey is one of the most widely studied species by investigations at all levels. From the etiological, behavioral, physiological, pharmacological, and overall biomedical points of view, this species has been very important to generating knowledge. This book represents a great effort made by its editors and authors to gather information that is relevant to anyone interested in Rhesus monkeys, and primates in general. In addition to demonstrating the importance of the Rhesus monkey as a model for scientific study, it presents scientists with an overview of the principle physiological and behavioral characteristics to take into account any time this species is studied. A recommended read, this book maintains a balance between physiology and behavior. It treats the Rhesus monkey as both a biological entity with its own physiological characteristics, and as a social unit, demonstrating its complex social organization.” - Dra. Andrea Herrera-Solís, Investigador en Ciencias Médicas “C”, Hospital General Dr. Manuel Gea González, Subdirección de Investigación Biomédica, Therapeutic effects of cannabinoids

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