Paramount Chieftainship is political system similar to a kingdom that
brings together a number of partly autonomous villages or communities under the
hierarchical rule of a grand chief
Paramount Chieftain is also a title created during the Colonial era by British
administrators as a substitute for the word "king" in order to maintain that
only the British monarch held that title.
Paramount chieftainship is the highest-level traditional chieftainship or
political leadership in a regional or local polity or country.
The Wallisian version of Polynesian identity or, in short, Wallisian identity, is
composed of a specific socioeconomic, political and ideological system which, analogous to
the situation in other western-Polynesian societies such as Tonga, Futuna, Samoa and
Rotuma, may be defined as a configuration of the following four features: (1) a paramount
chieftainship and corresponding system of asymmetrical ideology based on the mana-taboo
complex; (2) the dominant role of cognatic kinship in the social relations of production,
distribution and politics; (3) a form of land ownership which is structured by principles
of both chieftainship and (cognatic) kinship; (4) a subsistence-, barter- and gift economy
in which pigs, root crops, seafood, kava, mats and tapa play a predominant part (Van der
Grijp 2001 and n.d.a).
Paul van der Grijp: Strategic Murders. Social Drama in Tongas Chiefly System
Article deals with a chain of social dramas typical of an important part of the civil war
in Tonga (Western Polynesia), a period of decline of the paramount chieftainship which was
a continuation and intensification of an already existing competition between the Tongan
chiefs. Here, this competition and the resulting social dramas - with distant parallels in
Hawaiian history - are conceived as rather cyclical than unusual states of warfare. The
major research questions of this article are: How was the disintegration of the Tongan
system of paramount chieftainship brought about? and: What were its implications? In
analyzing a selection of historical ethnography from a political anthropological point of
view, the metaphor of social drama, adapted from Victor Turner, will be used as an
analytical tool. [Polynesia, Tonga, chiefs, war, murder, social drama, political
BASUTOLAND AND ITS NEW PARAMOUNT CHIEF
TRACEY Afr Aff (Lond).1940; afraf.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/XXXIX/CLVII/306.pdf
Bingu practising tribalismMuluzi
by NATION REPORTER (10/12/2008) - nationmw.net
Extract: [History professor at Chancellor College Kings Phiri said the Lomwe tribe has had
no paramount chief because it is a tribe which had no centralised system of government and
the installation of one now could be political.
"It is very difficult for me as historian to accurately assess the way people are
elevated nowadays. There is so much politics in it. Historically, the Lomwe did not have
paramount chiefs. They came to Malawi under a clan and it was difficult in 1930s for the
colonial government to entrust them with duties. Their chiefs were challenged and so the
government had to create chiefs in their own areas," said Phiri.
He said paramount chieftainship would apply to the Ngonde, Tumbuka of Rumphi, the Chewa,
Ngoni and Yao because they had centralised system of government.
"But it is an issue over which no light can be thrown from historians," said