ROLA WYBITNYCH JEDNOSTEK I MITÓW PAŃSTWOTWÓRCZYCH W PROCESIE LEGITYMIZACJI WŁADZY W PAŃSTWACH AFRYKI PRZEDKOLONIALNEJ
AND FOUNDING MYTHS IN LEGITIMIZING THE POWER IN PRE-COLONIAL AFRICAN STATES
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The aim of the following article is to present the role of the individuals or so called great men as well as the origin myths (founding myths) in legitimizing the power in sub-Saharian African states in the pre-colonial times. In the beginning, the notion of legitimization of power in sociology and political science as well as the discrepancies over the character of this phenomenon (Weber, Easton, Beetham) will be presented. Then, the causes and conditions for the formation of the states in pre-colonial Africa, particularly in the light of political anthropology, will be described. Next, the selected methods of legitimizing the power in these states will be analyzed. At the end, the role of the individuals or ‘great men’ in the formation of the states in pre-colonial Africa will be discussed. In this context the founding myths of two different countries — centralized state of Benin and one of the Hausa city-states — in which the personage of ‘great man’ plays a crucial role, will be presented.
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