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The leader or head of a group, especially of a clan or tribe.

[Middle English cheftain, from Old French chevetain, from Late Latin capitāneus, from Latin caput, head; see kaput- in Indo-European roots.]

chief′tain·cy n.
chief′tain·ship′ n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.chieftaincy - the position of chieftain
berth, billet, post, situation, position, office, place, spot - a job in an organization; "he occupied a post in the treasury"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
Though there were a number older than he, they acknowledged his chieftaincy. He was a beautiful boy, a lithe young god in breathing bronze, eyes wide apart, intelligent and daring, a bubble, a mote, a beautiful flash and sparkle of life.
According to Beyeeman Benbuin, the incident is being hyped as an orchestration by his detractors, including his chieftaincy rivals and some police officers at Enchi, the traditional headquarters, to give him a bad name, because of his avowed position to stop galamsey activities going on in the area, which is a source of income for his detractors.
Ohere, who is the Special Adviser to the Governor on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, made the affirmation at APC stakeholders and reconciliation meeting held in Okehi.
Uganda has been deporting different Rwandans who accuse it of inhumane imprisonment and torture on false accusations by Uganda's Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence and rebel groups against the Government of Rwanda.
The numbers of women in leadership, she said, were not yet satisfactory, stating that women were multi-talented, appreciating those who had already assumed roles in chieftaincy, politics and pastorship.
Ewe speakers did not form a largescale centralized state, but nor were they 'acephalous'; chieftaincy was practised in the precolonial era, but on a very small scale.
A June 2016 Act of the National Legislature established the NDMA as an autonomous agency for the purpose of implementing the National Disaster Management Policy, 'coordinating the national disaster management system, incorporating state and non-state actors at national, county, district and chieftaincy levels, and handling disaster-related issues to ensure reduced vulnerabilities to natural and human induced hazards.'
Among their topics are new challenges for African potentials in mediating conflicts: the case of Turkana in northwestern Kenya, the Fambul Tok (family talk) project: a hybrid attempt for local transitional justice in Sierra Leone, African chiefs in the global era: chieftaincy titles and Igbo migrants from Nigeria, ZAIRAICHI (local knowledge_ as the manners of co-existence: encounters between the Aari farmers in southwestern Ethiopia and the Other, and the universality of humanity as an African potential.
Chieftaincy is an important and integral part of kingship institution in Yoruba communities.
Isn't Harbiyar Marri, a fugitive from law wanted for the murder of a Balochistan high court judge, the scion of the Marri chieftaincy, spearheading the insurgency in his dynasty's fief in Balochistan from his redoubt in London?
Religion and Chieftaincy in Ghana: An Explanation of the Persistence of a Traditional Political Institution in West Africa