The Akwamus like most Akans also migrated from Bono Manso to settle at the Twifo-Heman forest at the later part of the 16th century. This group of Akans belonged to the Aduana family and are blood brothers of Asumennya, Dormaa and Kumawu.”

The following Paramount Chiefs are all members of the larger Aduana Clan: Akwamu, Dormaa, Kumawu, Asumeja, Asamankes, According to oral tradition it was as a result of succession dispute that compelled Otomfuo (brass-smith) Asare to desert the family to form a new state or city called Asaremankesee- Asares big state. The modern city of Asaamankese was originally founded and occupied by the Akwamus.

In the Gold Coast, when the Denkyiras were tormentors of the weak or small states such as the Asantes, it was the Akwamus who propped up Osei Tutu with the help of Okomfo Anokye to liberate these Asante states. The consequence was the formation of the Asante Kingdom under King Osei Tutu.

To keep the young Asante Kingdom from unwarranted attacks and harassment from other tribes as well as to consolidate and entrench Osei Tutu’s authority, the Akwamus left a contingent of warriors to keep guard. Those Akwamus settled in Batama, Adum and Asafo. The Akwamus so distinguished themselves in the art of Chieftancy and warfare to the admiration of King Osei Tutu and his elders that they were honoured by creating Black Stools for them. Thus, Asafohene was made the Akwamuhene of Kumasi; Bantamahene made the Krontihene of Kumasi and Adumhene made Banmuhene of Kumasi. These positions still exist today. Other Akan tribes also followed suit and created the Akwamuhene position in their various states. That is why in every Akan town, we have an Akwamuhene who wields significant power.

This also amply demonstrates why the Akwamus are scattered all over Ghana.
Akwamus expansion started between 1629 and 1710 and this took them to places like the whole Akuapem area including Kyerepon and Larteh, Denkyera, Ga-Adangbe, the Ladoku states of Agona, Winneba, Afram plains, Southern Togoland and finally Ouidah in present Benin. The powerful king Nana Ansa Sasraku l annexed the Guans and took over the traditional areas of the Kyerepons and ruled over them until Asonaba Nana Ofori Kuma and his followers after a succession dispute in their effort to form their own State engaged them in a fierce war after which the Akwamus were driven away from the mountains.

These Asona family members and their followers then were given a piece of land from the original settlers the Guans, Kyerepons, to form the Akuapem state. However, most of the present Akuapems still have their roots at Akwamufie especially those bearing the names Addo and Akoto or from the Aduana family.

akwamus-iii akwamus-ii

Nana Ansa Sasraku also played an important role in the life of the King Osei Tutu of Asante. He protected him from the Denkyiras and when he was called to take over the Kwaaman stool Nana Ansa Sasraku provided him with 300 Asafomen from Akwamu to guide him to Kwaaman. When Nana Osei Tutu arrived, he gave all the men to Kwaaman Asafohene and they became citizens of Asafo and that won the Kumase Asafohene the title Akwamuhene of Kumase. According to oral tradition, the whole structure of the Asante army that was started by Nana Osei Kofi Tutu l and helped the Asantes through many wars, was a replicate of the well organised Akwamu army.

The Akwamus developed a peculiar military maneuver termed “the three fold approach” unknown to the rest of the people – (Adonten, Benkum, Nifa)” – the front guard; the left and right guards.
Nana Osei Tutu was also assisted by the Anumfuo (later Adumfuo) who accompanied him from Akwamu, in execution cases. A large number of the Asantes of today originated from Akwamu especially, people from Asafo and Adum as well as sections of people from Bantama and Barekese.

After the death of Nana Ansa Sasraku, he was succeeded by two kings collectively, Nana Addo Panin and Nana Basua. It was during this time that the Akwamus took over the possession of the Danish Castle at Christianborg or Osu.Because of the cordial relationship that existed between Akwamu and Asante, during the 19th century expansion of Asante, the Akwamu unlike most states after war, was never annexed by the Asantes.

That is the reason why during the Golden Anniversary of Nana Kwafo Akoto ll Nana Opoku Ware ll crossed the Pra river to spend two days at Akwamufie. At the peak of their power the Akwamu state had embraced much of the Eastern part of the Gold Coast and traditionally Between 1677 and 1681 the Akwamu state conquered the states of Ladoku, Agona and Whydah as well as the Ewe people of the Ho region. The Akwamu also conquered the Ga people and occupied the old Ga Kingdom.

In 1693, Asomani of Akwamu led a raid and seized Osu Castle (previously the seat of Ghanaian government), from the Danish colonists. Akwamu thus controlled many of the trade routes from the interior to the coast in the eastern half of what is now Ghana and created a capital at Nyanoase. In the 1720s, a civil war in the Akwamu state caused the state’s disintegration. Most of the King’s allies were sold away as slaves and transported to the Caribbean island of St. John. In 1733 they fomented a slave revolt there.

In 1733, the Akwamu were over powered by a combined force of the Akuapims, Agona, Accra, Fanti and the Akyems which saw the previously illustrious empire put to an end. The Akwamu were pushed across the Volta to Akwamufie which is the location of their current capital. In the course of Akwamu migration and war escapades, some decided to stay behind and settle while the main stream continued their journey.

As a result of this, the Akwamus can be found all over the country – Obomeng, Obo, Bepong, Asakraka and the entire Nifa division – of Kwahu Asamankese, Kade, Akwatia, Aburi etc; in the central region: Lower Jokwa, Abakrampa, Twifo Heming, Adonmorobe, around Cape Coast etc; in the Greater Accra Region, Otublohum, part of Osu, Pokuase etc. and in the Western Region, some areas around Nkooful etc.

 

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Michael Eli Dokosi is a journalist and a formidable writer with a decade's experience. He is a blogger as well who currently owns and manages the news portal www.blakkpepper.com. The site is a wholesome news platform with entertainment, political, general, sports, negroid and foreign news offerings with the tagline 'More than Straight News' because of its alternate take on issues. The blakkpepper name emerged because the site is Afrocentric and hot. The Managing Editor can be reached via cell line (+233) 0249907425 & (+233) 0262907425 and via email blakkpeppergh@gmail.com for adverts, enquiries and news coverage invites.

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