Robert Sutherland Rattray

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Robert Sutherland Rattray, CBE, known as Captain R. S. Rattray (1881, India – 1938) was an early Africanist and student of the Ashanti. He was one of the early writers on Oware, and on Ashanti gold weights.[1]


Rattray was born in India of Scottish parents. In 1906 he joined the Gold Coast Customs Service. In 1911 he became the assistant District Commissioner at Ejura. Learning local languages, he was appointed head of the Anthropological Department of Asante in 1921. He retired in 1930. He was killed while flying a glider in 1938.[2]


  • Vernon Blake, "The Aesthetic of Ashanti".
  • Hausa Folk-lore, translated from Maalam Shaihua's original, 1913.
  • Ashanti Proverbs: the primitive ethics of a savage people: translated from the original with grammatical and anthropological notes, 1916 (repub. 1969). With a preface by Sir Hugh Clifford.
  • Ashanti, 1923.
  • (ed.) Religion and Art in Ashanti, Oxford University Press, 1927.
  • Ashanti Law and Constitution, 1929.
  • Akan-Ashanti Folk-Tales. Collected and translated by ... R. S. Rattray ... and illustrated by Africans of the Gold Coast Colony, 1930.
  • The Tribes of the Ashanti Hinterland Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2 vols., 1932.


  1. ^ A Short History of Ashanti Gold Weights
  2. ^ Daniel Miles McFarland, Historical Dictionary of Ghana, 1985, p. 153.

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