Chiefdoms

The Asantehene (King of Ashanti) in procession
Characteristics
  1. leadership roles are hereditary
  2. seldom a fixed rule of succession
  3. chief's position usually involves the control of prestige and symbolic forms of wealth
    • holds and acquire wealth through public office and can command special services from his, usually in the form of customary obligations rather than a formal taxation system,
    • obligated to show public generosity in the redistribution of wealth
  4. authority is predominantly sanctioned through ritual processes => divine kingship
  5. territorial divisions are semi autonomous and represented at the top by locally selected officials.