Staying on the Margins: Konkomba Mobility and Belonging in Northern Ghana, 1914-1994


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships


Department of History


Since the colonial period, the Konkomba have been marginalised and excluded from traditional political and land rights in Ghana. Although mobility has been a fundamental aspect of Konkomba social life, existing works have ignored its impact on their status. This study explores how the mobile social life of the Konkomba shaped their marginality and exclusion at the local level. Using archival and oral sources, the study analyses Konkomba mobility not only as a source of marginality but also as a political tool used to negotiate their survival and autonomy. While documenting the nature and changing patterns of the Konkomba mobility and the political context within which they occurred, the study explores the historical processes and struggles that underpinned the construction of Konkomba marginality and provides insights into the prevailing contestations over their belonging in northern Ghana. In doing so, the study provides a new window for understanding Konkomba history and contributes to debates around mobility, marginality and belonging in Africa.