Banda Through Time

Visit a village in the Banda area of west central Ghana and you might imagine a place where the recently completed Bui Hydroelectric Dam ushered in “globalization.” But to borrow a phrase from the anthropologist Charles Piot, Banda villagers have long been “remotely global.” In other words, local lives have long-standing connections to distant places.

From at least 1200 AD, Banda villagers traded with people living along the Niger River to the north and west, accessing goods that flowed through Saharan trade. From the mid 17th century they participated in Atlantic trade networks, and from the end of the 19th century experienced British colonial rule. Thus throughout the last 1000 years the region has been a crossroads where people interacted and confronted change at the same time as they drew on enduring traditions and practices.

Since 1986, the Banda Research Project has focused study on the dynamic ways of village life in Banda. We invite you to explore the region’s rich history through this web page and an associated “Banda thru Time” repository of images, documents, and historical resources.