Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964623 | Print ISBN: 9781412936361 | Online ISBN: 9781412964623| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Molefi Kete Asante
Queens are rulers or leaders who have been chosen, selected, appointed, or born into their roles. Queens appear in African history longer than anywhere else in the world. From the earliest of historical times, the idea of queenship has existed in the cultures of Africa; this idea appears to derive from the ancient concept of first ancestor, founding family, founding mother, or divine clan lineage. Among the prevailing ideas about queenship are that these royals are related to mediation between the ordinary and the divine; they are descended from divine rulers or they are infused with special supernatural power of divinity. Therefore, the queen functions to protect the society from enemies and to bring order and balance to the cosmos. Among the Akan, when a queen mother dies, the people believe that the universe is chaotic until all of the rituals of burial have been completed. Such a spirit on ...