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.
Buy The Character of Kingship book by Declan Quigley from Australia's Online Independent Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(234mm x 156mm x 15mm)
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
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Author Biography - Declan Quigley
Declan Quigley is Honorary Research Associate, Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Oxford University.