The Akan people are historically important ethnic group of west Africa, With over 20million members. Akans are one of the biggest Ethnic groups in west Africa today and largest ethnic group in both Ghana and Ivory coast. The outstanding matrilineal society ,they speak “kwa” languages. “Proto-kwa“language is believed to have come in East/Central Africa.
Akan people migrated from the Sahel to coastal west Africa and formed “The Bonoman” kingdom during the 12th century. The kingdom was best known for gold mining and trading farm products. The Akan has subgroups which include Ashanti, Akwmu, Akyem, Auapem, Abron, Aowin, Athanta, Anyi, Akye, Abidji, Avikam,A vatime, Alladian, coromantins, Abbe, the Kwahu, Assin.
THE AKAN CULTURE
The akan culture is one of the purest west African Cultures that still exist today, its most dominant and apparent in present day of Ghana. They have the mythological Stories called “Anasesem” literally means “THE SPIDER STORIES” and are sometimes referred to as “Nyankomsem” words of a sky god’the stories generally but not always revolve around Kwaku A nanse, a trickster spirit, often epicted as a spider, human or combination.
The Cultural Elements Of Akan Culture
- Kente Cloth
Kente is originated from the world kenten, which means “basket” the Akan also refers to kente as nwentoma, meaning “woven cloth”. Kente refers to the textile, made of handwoven cloth, strips of silk, and cotton. the fabric historically was worn by royals among the Akan in a Toga fashion, It originated from Bonwire in the Ashanti region of Ghana.
- Akan Gold weights
Gold weights were being produced in Ghana in the year 1400-1900, The weights were called “abrammuo ” before the colonial contact, made of brass alloy mounted with geometrical motifs and figurative symbols, They were kept in a leather bag named Futuo that was containing additional apparatus such as brass spoons, scales, brushes, feathers, gold pans, etc. And they were used in fair-trade arrangements with one another. Also the status of a man increased significantly if he owned a complete set of weights.
- Akan calendar
The Akan calendar originated from the “Kwa Group” whereby it appeared to be used in timekeeping based on seven-days a week which is called “nnanson “. In the Akan calender one year is represented by nine cycles (also called Adae). Following the Akan calendar, according to which each cycle constitutes a period of about 42 days, the Adae festival is celebrated on two occasions in each cycle—Akwasidae, falling on a Sunday, and Awukudae, falling on a Wednesday. Akwasidae and Awukudae festivals are localized, celebrated by every ohene in his community among his people. The final Akwasidae of the Akan year is the Adae Kese (Great Adae), which is a larger celebration and observed more widely.
- Akan names
Akan people do name their newborns, with the signification of the day someone was born. According to their tradition, each child is born with a name associated with their soul. The day the child is born is therefore determined by the soul. The ancestors initiated the well thought and organized naming system of the Akans.
The religious part of Akan is encompassed with traditional beliefs and religious practices, where by Where by the Akan religion is termed Akom through which the Twi clan the word akom means Prophecy in spite of the fact that most of the akan people have identified themselves as Christians since the early 20th century, the Akan religion remains practiced by some and is often syncretized with Christianity. The Akan have many subgroups (including the Fantu, Ashanti, The Akupem, The Wassa, The Abron, The Anyi and the Baouloue and others), so the religion varies greatly by region and subgroup. Similar to other traditional religions of West and Western Africa.
Akan posses the philosophy and inheritance system which include the following
-Abusua (modja); what an Akan inherit from her mother
-Ntoro; what an Akan get from his father
-Sunsum; what an Akan develops from their interaction with the
-Kra; what an Akan gets from Onyame [God] its like a blessings