Atebubu are agriculturalist and the Brong- Twi speaking sub-ethnic group of the larger Ahafo ethnic group in Brong Ahafo Region of Ghana. They are from the Asona ebusua (clan) whose stool name is “Owusu Asare.” The name Atebubu is the corruption of the name Ata Yeboe, the Gonja hunter who founded the town.

Historically, Atebubu people, maintain that after their migration from Timbuktu they first settled at Saman, an area around Kumasi Antoa area. It was at this place they settled for a long time before the people of Kumawu (Asantes) came in later. Historian E. K. Kumah in his collections of oral traditions, “KeteKrachi Traditions”, under the sub-heading, “History of Atebubu Brong-Ahafo,” contends that at that time of Atebubu settlement at Saman, the famous Guan king Atarefiram ruled from Afram Plains to areas stretching as far as certain parts of Volta and Obosom Rivers. “The Asantes were also at Adansi” (Kumah 1966, page 1). The king of the Atebubus at Saman at the period was Nana Yirenkyi, whose ally was Beposohene Atera Akenten.

When Aterafiram`s kingdom defeated Kumawu, killing its ruler Fakai, Nana Yirinkyi of Saman and Atera Akenten of Beposo joined by soldiers of Kumawu waged a three-year war against Aterafiram until they defeated king Atara and chased his army who fled across the Volta River. For Nana Yirenkyi`s gallant role in this war he was showered encomiums:

“Atebubu Ampɔn Yirenkyi,

Brempɔn a ofi Saman, ɔte Ɔko a Ɔsre,

Aterafiram ne bribi a, ɔwɔ bɛɛbi, sukusuku,

ɔwɛ atua mu gya.”

(Atebubu Ampɔn Yirenkyi,

The Supremo of Saman, who hears of war and laughs,

If Aterafiram possessed the land, he is nowhere to be found,

The King who can chew fired bullet.”

The growth in population of the Atebubus at Saman forced them to move out to settle at an area in the Afram Plains called Bodiafor, also known as Saman No. 2 under their king, Nana Banka. Here succession dispute between the two sons of Nana Banka led to civil war. Samanhene Banka committed suicide, one of his sons took the original black stool and emigrated to Wiase near Kwame Danso-Dwan. The rest of the Saman people led by the Queen, Nana Tua, emigrated to settle at Tuaburaso.

Tuaburaso land was found unsuitable, but a hunter from the Guan Nchumuru land who had a settlement at Yaa Kɔkɔɔ helped Queen Nana Tua to settle at a vast land owned by fellow hunter, Ata Yeboe, a Gonja. Out of the name of Ata Yeboe`s village, Atebubu emerged. The Atebubus came to meet Kumfiahene, who occupied the north of the area, and the Munimuni people (now Nchumuru) were at the Eastern and the North-Eastern parts. But the Munimuni (mentioned as Kentenku) were later fought by the Asantes who chased them away to cross the Volta River to settle permanently at Gonja and Krachi lands.

For granting them his land, attempt was made to install Ata Yeboe as the king of the Saman people, but the move failed. Instead, a royal of Saman, Owusu Asare was installed as the first king of Ata Yeboe village (Atebubu).

Atebubu had wars with Munimunis and Kumfia, and defeated them. They then positioned themselves as powerful state. Thus when the Salaga war broke out they became one of the important trade centres, and received huge Hausa traders and emigrants.

Kweku Darko Ankrah

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