One of the major Akan ethnic groups, the Akuapem, primarily inhabits Ghana’s Eastern Region to the south. They are indigenous people that speak both matriarchal Kwa and patriarchal Volta-Comoe languages. most of them are found in Ghana’s southern Eastern Region.
History Of The Akuapem Tribe
The Akuapem were formerly Guan speakers, including the Larteh, Mamfe, Abotakyi, Mampong, Obosomase, and Tutu Guan blocks as well as the Kyerepong (Okere) Guan blocks, which comprise Abiriw, Dawu, Awukugua, Adukrom, Apirede, and Abonse-Asesieso.
The localities that speak Akan Twi include the capital, Akropong, and Amanokurom, which are home to immigrants from Akyem and Mampong, who are also from Asante Mampong in Ashanti Region. These multi-ethnic people were given the name Akuapem by Nana Ansa Sasraku I of Akwamu, a renowned warrior king.
The word “thousand groups” (Nkuu apem) in Akan Twi is the source of the name. After the people overpowered his Akwamu invasion force, he gave them these names. The term “Nkuu apem” became corrupted to become Akuapem as we currently know them.
Royal membership among Akan is determined through connection to the land. Anyone who traces their bloodline from a founding member of a village or town may be considered royal. Each family is responsible for maintaining political and social order within its confines. In the past, there was a hierarchy of leadership that extended beyond the family, first to the village headman, then to a territorial chief, then to the paramount chief of each division within the Asante confederacy.
The highest level of power is reserved for the Asanthene, who inherited his position along matrilineal lines. The Asantahene still plays an important role in Ghana today, symbolically linking the past with current Ghanaian politics.
Religion: Akan believe in a supreme god who takes on various names depending upon the particular region of worship. Akan mythology claims that at one time the god freely interacted with man, but that after being continually struck by the pestle of an old woman pounding fufu, he moved far up into the sky. There are no priests that serve him directly, and people believe that they may make direct contact with him.
There are also numerous gods (abosom), who receive their power from the supreme god and are most often connected to the natural world. These include ocean and river spirits and various local deities. Priests serve individual spirits and act as intermediaries between the gods and mankind. Nearly everyone participates in daily prayer, which includes the pouring of libations as an offering to both the ancestors who are buried in the land and to the spirits who are everywhere. The earth is seen as a female deity and is directly connected to fertility and fecundity.
Early Akan economics revolved primarily around the trade of gold and enslaved peoples to Mande and Hausa traders within Africa and later to Europeans along the coast. This trade was dominated by the Asante who received firearms in return for their role as middlemen in the slave trade. These were used to increase their already dominant power.
Various luxury goods were were also received and incorporated into Asante symbols of status and political office. Local agriculture includes cocoa cultivation for export, while yams and taro serve as the main staples.
Among the Akan who live along the coast, fishing is very important. The depleted forests provide little opportunity for hunting. Extensive markets are run primarily by women who maintain considerable economic power, while men engage in fishing, hunting, and clearing land. Both sexes participate in agricultural endeavours.