History of Akuapem-Amanokrom

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Introduction

Amanokrom are agroforestry people. The town was founded in 1742 by Nana Amanor Awua, their third ruler. It is one of the 17 principal towns that constitute the original Akuapem State (Fynn, 1979). The town is also one of the Akan Twi-speaking enclaves, and it forms the Adonten No. 3 (Main Army Number Three) of the Akuapem State. Amanokrom is the descendants of Akyem Abuakwa Asona clan and they founded their town ten years after the formation of the Akuapem State. Akuapem State was founded in 1733 after the signing of the Abotakyi Accord following the Akyem and their allies’ defeat of the Akwamu Kingdom in the 1730 Battle of Nsakye (Ayisi, 1972; Kwamena-Poh, 1973). The name Amanokrom means “Amanor’s Town” and their appellation is nsu ketewa ɛso aguare “A rivulet that makes bathing possible” (Hill, 1963; Kwamena-Poh, 1973).

Origin and Migration

Their oral tradition asserts that their ancestors were members of the Akyem Abuakwa Asona clan group. Fynn (1971) contends that their apical ancestor was Nana Ahenkora Kese, the Asona Chief of Adanse Kokobiante, who shared common ancestry with Nana Kuntunkununku I, the first King of the Asona group (Akyem Abuakwa) when they were settling in Adanse Kokobiante.  In the great migration of the Asona clan southwards, Ahenkora Kese’s group was led by Nana Agyapong Tenten. He moved with the people to first settle at Adanse Ofoase and later proceeded to join his relative, Nana Ofori Panin. The groups moved together to settle at Pamen on the Eastern side of what became the Akyem Abuakwa State.

It was in their settlement at Pamen that the hilly Guans sent a message to Akyem chiefs to help them to break the shackles of the autocratic and dangerous chains of the Akwamu (Ayesu, 2013; Ayesu, 2011; Fynn 1971). The Akwamu was then a powerful state which has conquered many Akan and non-Akan states and placed them under their powers and made them vassal states. They lay siege on main roads and capture non-Akwamu citizens and sell them into slavery. Many Guan citizens were captured in this dastardly act.  Reindorf (1887) recorded that the Akwamu princes forced Guan women to go naked and use the middle of the breast as targets in their gun marksmanship or shooting training. This led to several deaths of Guan women.

Because of this wickedness, Akyem Abuakwa sent their warrior, Ofori Kae or Ofori Kuma, popularly known as Safori to lead the Akyem, Hilly Guans, and their allies in the war against the Akwamu. Agyapong Tenten’s successor, Nana Kwatia Akompi led his Asona group from Pamen to join the ranks of Safori’s battalions in the war that took place in Nsakye in 1730 (Ayisi, 1972; Kwamena-Poh, 1973). The Akwamu were defeated. They fled the hills, crossed the Volta River, and moved to settle on the Volta Hills. After the Akwamu had been successfully chased away, Safori and his band of warrior relatives joined the Hilly Guans to sign a treaty known as Abotakyi Accord in 1733 to form the new Akuapem State.

At Akuapem State, Nana Kwatia and his Asona Ahenkora Kese group stayed with the new Akuapem King, Nana Saforo at Amanprobi near Akropong. Here, Nana Kwatia died and was succeeded by Nana Osim Kwatia, a professional hunter. He joined King Safori’s bandwagon from Amanprobi to Nsorem, the land between Akropong and Abiriw. Whilst at Nsorem, Osim Kwatia died and was succeeded by Nana Amanor Awua during the reign or regency of Nana Ofei Boa as the King of Akuapem State.  Having lived peacefully as blood relatives for some time, the 1740 celebration of the Ohum festival, unfortunately, brought an irreparable conflict between the two Asona families. It is said that King Ofei Boa laid claim to some of the palm wine belonging to Nana Amanor Awua which resulted in series of conflicts between the two groups. To avert bloodshed, Nana Amanor Awua moved with his people to return to Pamen, but stopped at Adesaaae and later Odawurakese near Dodowa.

Fynn (1972) explains that whilst at Odawurakese, Amanor discovered the Dodowa area as a good hunting ground. One day, he met a fellow hunter, Konton Mensah, a native of Akwamu who had taken refuge in that area after the Akuapem-Akwamu war of 1733.  Other accounts contend that Amano Awua who resided at Odawurakese near Dodowa moved up the mountains to hunt and it was there that he discovered Konton Mensah of Akwamu who became his hunting pal. Thus, he moved the people from Odawurakese to settle on the hills where there was ɛsu ketewa ‘rivulet’ running through. The settlement was founded in 1742 and was first named Amanokrom ‘Amano Wua`s town.’  Whilst there, some other Akyem settlers in Dodowa, including the royal house members, led by Owereko Ampem, the uncle of the Akyem warrior, Safori, also came to join Amanor. Ampem and his followers had friction with Safori and left for Aboasa where they had another disagreement with Safori`s children, so Ampem moved to Dodowa with his entourage. When the Ampem-led Royal House of Dodowa entered Amanokrom they assumed the political administration of Amano`s settlement. Until recently, Amanokrom citizens could be chiefs of Dodowa. Their descendants are of mixed Akyem-Krobo blood. It is the same with the royal house of Dodowa.

REFERENCE

Ayesu, Ebenezer. “One state, many origins: peopling of the Akuapem State: a re-examination.” Contemporary Journal of African Studies 1, no. 1 (2013): 27-54.

___. “Tradition and change in the history of Akuapem (Ghana) chieftaincy during British Colonial rule, 1874–1957.” (Ph.D. Dissertation, Indiana University, 2011).

Ayisi, Eric Okyere. “The Basis of Political Authority of the Akwapim Tribes, Eastern Ghana: Social Change, a Sociological Study. (Ph.D. Dissertation, University of London).

Brokensha, David (ed.). Akwapim Handbook. (Accra and Tema: Publishing Corporation, 1972).

Fynn, Samuel. “The History of the People of Amanokrom: Eighteenth Century to Present Day.” (B.A., Dissertation, University of Ghana, 1979).

Hill, Polly. The Migrant Cocoa-Farmers of Southern Ghana. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1963).

Kwamena-Poh, Michael A. Government and Politics in the Akwapim State 1730-1850. (London: Longman, 1973).