Why has monarchy been such a prevalent institution throughout history and in such a diverse range of societies? Kingship is at the heart of both ritual and politics and has major implications for the theory of social and cultural anthropology. Yet, despite the contemporary fascination with royalty, anthropologists have sorely neglected the subject in recent decades. This book combines a strong theoretical argument with a wealth of ethnography from kingships in Africa, Asia and the Pacific. Quigley gives a timely and much-needed overview of the anthropology of kingship and a crucial reassessment of the contributions of Frazer and Hocart to debates about the nature and function of royal ritual. From diverse fieldwork sites, a number of eminent anthropologists demonstrate how ritual and power intertwine to produce a series of variations around myth, tragedy and historical realities. However, underneath this diversity, two common themes invariably emerge: the attempt to portray kingship as timeless and perfect, and the dual nature of the king as sacred being and scapegoat.
Table of Contents
FINAL1.Introduction: The Character of KingshipDeclan Quigley, honorary research associate, University of Oxford2. Forms of Sacralized Power in AfricaLuc de Heusch, Professor Emeritus, Free University of Brussels, Belgium3. Sacred King, Sacrificial Victim, Surrogate Victim or Frazer, Hocart, GirardLucien Scubla, Centre de Recherche en pistmologie Applique of the cole polytechnique, France 4. A Reply to Lucien ScublaLuc de Heusch, Professor Emeritus, Free University of Brussels, Belgium5. Tragedy, Ritual and Power in Nilotic Regicide. The Regicidal Dramas of the Eastern Nilotes of Sudan in Comparative PerspectiveSimon Simonse, independent scholar6. The Transgressive Nature of Kingship in Caste Organization: Monstrous Royal Doubles in NepalMarie Lecomte-Tilouine, CNRS, Villejuif, France7. Kingship and UntouchabilityDeclan Quigley, honorary research associate, University of Oxford8. Kingship and Caste in Africa: History, Diffusion and EvolutionTal Tamari, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (France) and Universit Libre de Bruxelles.9. King House: The Mobile Polity in Northern GhanaSusan Drucker-Brown, University of Cambridge10. Kings and Tribes in East India: The Internal Political DimensionBurkhard Schnepel, Martin-Luther-University, Germany11. Japanese Monarchy in Historical and Comparative PerspectiveEmiko Ohnuki-Tierney, University of Wisconsin, USA12. Chiefs and Kings in PolynesiaHenri J. M. Claessen, Leiden University, Netherlands
Declan Quigley is Honorary Research Associate, Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Oxford University.