Making History in Banda. Anthropological visions of Africa’s Past. Ann Stahl. 2001. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Contributed by: Kofi Nutor

Based on archaeological excavations at the Makala Kataa and Kuulo Kataa sites in Banda, coupled with ethnographic and documentary research, Stahl, in this book, reconstructs the history of Banda, a community in the Bono Ahafo Region of Ghana. She documented changes in settlement behaviour, craft production, subsistence strategies, and trade and exchange practices from the 12th century. The book provides insights into the dynamics of local life during a period of expanding global networks, and discusses how Banda’s history was integrated into other local (Ghanaian), regional (trans-Saharan) and intercontinental (trans-Atlantic) political economies. Stahl also discussed the various distinct but overlapping perspectives from which archaeologists, historians and anthropologists study African societies, and how data from various sources including oral and documented accounts, archaeological excavations, and ethnographic contexts could be used in a supplementary way in studying Africa’s past.