(Part 1)  The most comprehensive group in Ghana are the Akan, consisting of various divisions. Some of these included Bono, Asanta, Fante and Sehwi. Collectively they have religious, cultural and political ascendancy. The most dominant languages of the Akan are Twi and Fante. 
Twi is mainly spoken in the country, whereas Fante is spoken in the coastal regions. However there are other dialects spoken in the Western Region of the country. 

By birth the Akan conforms to the abusua of his mother, receiving the ntoro or kra (the living spirit) of his father. The maternal and paternal bonds will follow the Akan were ever they may travel.
The Bono

The majority of the Akan trace their origins back to Bonoland, though it is not certain about the beginnings of the Bono Nation itself. It is believed that King Asaaman, the first ruler recollected in history, led his people from the North to southwards. Presumably from the south-west region, known as Republic of Burkina Faso. During the time Bono was under the rule of Akumfi Ameyaw I (c. 1328-63), took advantage of the gold mines, introducing gold dust as currency and gold weights. This resulted in Bono developing into a wealthy nation. 

The Denkyira

The Denkyira lived in the district of Nkyiraa, in the Bono Kingdom before settling at Abankeisieso (known as the Asante Region). Denkyira is divided into Upper Denkyia and Lower Denkyira. In 1701 the new capital Jukwaa, was defeated by the Asante at the Battle of Feyiase. The bases for Denkyiras success derived from the increasing number of wars. These were initiated by Boadu Akafo Brempon (c. 1657-68). It is believed that Boadu Akafo Brempon expanded his empire with Sehwi, Wasa and Twifo. The Abankwadwa, the mythical stool of beads and the executioner's sword called the Sasatia symbolised the Denkyira rulers. It is believed that the stool of beads descended from heaven. Denkyira established itself as a powerful nation because of the various wars, the gold mines, revenue from trade, taxes and tolls.

Twifo, Heman and Asen

Twifo is said to be more ancient than most of the Akan states. The Twifos fore fathers allegedly came from the ground, in the Apagyahina forest. Being led by Mfotee Amoa from Bono to the South from the North, over three hundred years ago. When the Twifo settled they met with the Mokwaa, Heman and Afutuakwa, descendants of the Etsii. These settlers were a minority therefore the Twifo reduced them into dependant states. 

The Heman originate from Bono, being led by their ruler Agyan Kokobo integrating with settlers of Etsii. Heman was also entrenched before other Akan kingdoms. During the time of Otumfuo Asare, some of the Heman travelled to the East and founded the Akwamu kingdom.

In the sixteenth century, settlements of the Etsii made their new homes in Asen towns. Asen has been known to change coalitions with Akyem and Fante to meet Asante threats. Due to these threats the Asante sought to move to a more acceptable place. 

The Fante

The Fante originate from Bono, like most of the Akan groups immigrating to the coast before the fifteenth century. The people of Fante, which is now known as Ghana, were among the first people to come into contact with European merchants. Their wealth came from selling their own goods and acting as distributors. People who lived inland emigrated to coastal towns Abandze, meaning the foot of the European fort. This resulted in a new class of people who developed into a fashionable society. Whereas their children obtained formal education in their homeland and overseas. This class of people inter-married to continue their upper class positions, having influence on the political, economic and social circles.
Text Copyright F.K Buah - "A History Of Ghana" 


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