Kormantse is very important in Ghana and history of slave trade. In the history of slave trade and Caribbean, the town is called Cromantin (Kromantine), and the slaves taken from Gold Coast were known as Cromantin slaves. For the Jamaicans, this place is their natural home. They were notorious for causing most of the slave uprisings in the Caribbean, South and North America. They were enslaved people that slave masters feared the most. In the Caribbean, an edict was issued for stoppage of importing Cromantin slaves.
Kormantse were part of Nkusukum (Bentsi) people who were living among their other sub-ethnic Fante groups or wards, Ekumfi (Edumadze), Kurentsi Amanfo (Mankessim), Abora and Anomabo (then known as Ntsetse or Anaafo). Each of the quarter enjoyed absolute independence of the other. As the population expanded at Mankessim, Nana Kome and his group living among the Nkusukum group left their Abaatam settlement in Mankessim to look for new land to settle.
According to the Fante folkloric historian Joseph Brandford Crayner, Nana Kome and his people moved through Kuntu, Anakyir and Amoku (now Saltpond) to settle near a flat land close to the Hill where Fort Amsterdam is situated. After settling here for some period of time, Nana Kome and his followers decided to move on. But his junior brother, Kome Kuma refused to accompany the main party and chose to stay behind.
Soon the Denkyira armed bandits invaded the area and Kome Kuma was captured. Both Crayner and folkloric Guan historian, Kwame Ampene contend that the capture of Kome Kuma caused his aggrieved senior brother, Nana Kome Panyin to exclaim: “Sɛ Kome Kuma tsie me a, nkyɛ wo ankyɛr no” (If Kome Kuma had listened to me, he wouldn’t have been captured). Thus he said “Kome antse” (Kome did not listen). Out of the expression Komeantse, emerged the town`s name Kormantse or Komeantse. For the purposes of this post I shall stop with the story here, but it was these same group of people led by Nana Kome Panyin, who moved on to found Biriwa, Akatakyiwa and Komenda.
Abandze, on the other hand, was a town which grew outta Kormantse during the European trade with the Kormantse and other Fante and Akan traders. The visitors who stayed directly below the Fort Amsterdam decided to call themselves Abandze, (those who belongs to the fort or castle). The independence of Abandze from Kormantse and fight over a common lagoon between these two towns caused serious bloody war. The story about this war is what musician C K Man popularized in his famous song, “Kormantse na Abandze, wɔmbisa hɔn ko yi mu asem eh, aburaaaa wombisa o.”
Kweku Darko Ankrah