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GhanaWest Africa

Asante Kingdom’ The Formation Of Ghana’s Largest Ethnic Group

Story Highlights

  • Powerful Chiefs Of The Ruling Clans of the Asante's
  • Wars & Rebellion of the Asante's
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The early ancestors of the Asante Kingdom, West Africa Ghana lived in clans. The clans were the following: Oyoko, Biretuo, Aduana, Asona, Asene, Ekuona, Agona Asakyir.

People belonging to a clan claimed to be the children of one woman, so they were brothers and sisters. Since it was a taboo for brothers and sisters to marry other, one has to go to another clan for a partner, when one is in need of a partner.

This system of inter-marriage resulted in the creation of alliances among clans, therefore one clan had to go to the aid of another when the latter was attack because nobody would want to see his children taken into captivity.

When the population increased, they started to move away from Adanse area to build new townships. This was in the 15th century. Large towns with historical importance in those days were: Juaben, Asumegya, Kokofu, Nsuta, Mampong, Bekwai, Offinso, and Kwaman (Kumase).

There were smaller towns like Edweso, Agona, Kaase, Buokrom, and Tafo which were also of historical importance As time went on, the States started waging wars with one another on minor provocations Therefore, they could not stand any external attacks because of disunity.

Powerful Chiefs Of The Ruling Clans of the Asante’s

When tracing the history of Asante Kingdom, powerful Chiefs like Nana Twum, Nana Antwi, Nana Kobia Amanfi, Nana Oti Akenten, Nana Obiri Yeboah were not ruling over the whole Asante Nation. They were rulers of their Oyoko Clan.

Nana Twum and Nana Antwi ruled over the clan Asantemanso. Nana Kobia Amanfi ruled over them asumegya. Nana Oti Akenten and Nana Obiri Yeboah ruled over them when they settled at Kwaman which later became Kumasi. They were all Oyoko Chiefs that ruled different States.

There were strong connections between these Chiefs and the Chiefs of Kokofu, Nsuta, Dwaben and Bekwai because they were all of Oyoko clan and descended from the same ancestors. Love prevailed among these States and the other Asante clan States like Mampong, Kumawu, Offinso etc

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Wars & Rebellion of the Asante’s

Petty wars developed among the states. These inter state wars were at their peak during the reign of Nana Obiri Yeboa. The wars paved the way for their opponents from other tribes to conquer them. The result was that, the Asante States became very weak.

The Asante States were conquered by Denkyira state, so they served Denkyira and paid regular tribute to her. The tribute was in the form of firewood, plantain fibre and red clay. It was at this juncture that Nana Obiri Yeboah, Chief of Kwaman had a dream.

Nana Obiri Yeboah had a dream that the States should come together to form a united front, fight and free themselves from bondage.

To be continued….

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