Information on the relationship between children and their paternal and maternal uncles in Ashanti culture and whether a paternal uncle is considered a "father" by his nephews and nieces for all purposes including sworn affidavits [GHA11712]

A Ghanaian Professor of Political Science at Wayne State University in Michigan, U.S.A., stated in a telephone interview with the IRBDC (14 Sept. 1992), that the brother of a deceased man is referred to as "father" by the brother's children. The children would also describe him as such while their actual father is still alive but they will refer to the mother's brother as "uncle." The professor further explained that the Ashanti is a matrilineal culture and the maternal uncle plays a more important role than the father and the paternal uncle. Traditionally, nephews and nieces would inherit their maternal uncle's property after his death. Legally, affidavits should be signed by the natural parents. However, in practice, an uncle, whether maternal or paternal, may easily sign as the legal authority.

In another telephone interview with the IRBDC (15 Sept. 1992) a Ghanaian Journalist with New African in London, England, corroborated the professor's statements. Further information on this subject is currently unavailable to the IRBDC in Ottawa.


New African [London]. 15 September 1992. Telephone Interview with Ghanaian Journalist.

Wayne State University, Michigan. 14 September 1992. Telephone Interview with Ghanaian Professor of Political Science.