Akan History

Door , 22/08/2009 18:06


Bono state was an Akan state which existed from the early middle ages to the 18th century in what is now the Brong-Ahafo region of Ghana. The two names, Brong and Bono are used interchangeably. Its capital was Bono Manso (Bono-Mansu), an ancient market town the role of which in the Trans-Saharan trade was instrumental in the formation of Bono state. The state collapsed in the early 18th century. Upon the taking of Bono Manso by the Asante Confederacy in 1723, many residents of Bono Manso fled to Takyiman (or Tekyiman, Techiman, Takijiman). In 1740 the Bono-Tekyiman state, comprising roughly the same territory as the former Bono state, was founded more or less under Asante sovereignty.


The Chokosi are also known the Anufo, Chakosi, Tchokossi, Chokossi, Tiokossi and Kyokosi.

The Chokosi trace their roots to an area in present-day Cote d’Ivoire which they call Anou or Ano. Hence they refer to themselves and their language as Anufo “people of Anu”. It appears that migrations in the early 1700’s brought together Mande horsemen and their malams from the North and Akan peoples from the East.

Together with the indigenous Ndenyi people, they were amalgamated into one people with a mixed language and culture. In the mid 1700’s, a small band of mercenaries left Ano to assist the chiefs of the Gonja and Mamprusi peoples in present day Ghana. The band consisted of Mande horsemen, Akan musket-toting foot soldiers, and some Muslim scholar amulet-makers (Kirby 1986:34). These groups provided the basis for a society divided into three classes or estates: Nobles, commoners and Muslims.

Eventually, the small army established a camp on the shores of the Oti river where the town of Mango in Togo stands today. Since they were warriors and not farmers, they made their living by conducting raids into the farming communities around them. This provided them with wives and slaves as well as foodstuffs and livestock. (Holman 1990:9-12) Eventually the people settled in the surrounding farming communities, and assimilation took place.

The Chokosi in Ghana currently inhabit an area of savannah grassland in the north eastern part of Ghana. The soil is poor, but the main occupation of the people is farming. Communal labor is still called for many tasks between men and women. Markets in the area follow a six day cycle, and they provide social interaction as well as economic activity. People bring their local produce to sell in order to buy such things as soup ingredients (women) or bicycle parts (young men). It is a patrilineal society.


Denkyira was a nation of Akan people that existed in southern present-day Ghana from 1620. Before 1620, it was called Agona. The ruler of the Denkyira was called Denkyirahene and the capital was Jukwaa. The first Denkyirahene was Mumunumfi.

Denkyira became powerful through gold production and trade with Europe. It dominated the neighbouring states until 1701, when it was defeated by the Asante in the Battle of Feyiase, and became a tributary.

In 1868 Denkyira entered the Fante Confederacy to fight for Great Britain against the Asante and the Dutch. When the confederacy proved unable to defeat the Asante, it became a part of the British Gold Coast colony in 1874.


The Fante had long been in the region both inland and on the coast of what is today Ghana. In the 16th century they began to expand along the coastal areas in order to defend themselves from foreign invaders. The establishment of the confederacy was a proclamation of the several small independent kingdoms that made up the Fante tribes.

The standard explanation has long been that the Fante states were forced to form a confederation by the rapid growth of the Asante Confederacy in the early 18th century that began to threaten the security of the surrounding region. Sanders argues that the same forces that were driving the expansion and centralisation of the Asante, the lucrative trade with the Europeans and the introduction of firearms and other weapons, also fueled the increasing unity of the Fante.

The Fante united and produced a confederacy to be recognised not only by the people of the Gold Coast, but also by the European powers. The confederacy was headed by the Chief of Mankessim, who was given the title of Breyni. It was the obligation of highest Chief to respect the wishes of a council of the leaders of the other major towns. Despite a similar political structure the Fante never managed to become as united as the Asante, though their differences were overcome when their kingdoms were under dire threat. During the early 18th century the Fante expanded at the expense of smaller neighbouring states eventually annexing the lands of the Asebu, Cabesterra, and Agona. The Fante were allies of the British who supported their efforts against the rival Dutch, who were aligned with the Asante. The Fante Confederacy was smaller than the Asante, but through their control of the coastal trade and close links with the British the Fante became the administrators of the entire Gold Coast. The Fante leaders were the best educated and wealthiest of the peoples in the region.

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