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Burial rites of passage for the Traditional Paramount Chief of the Awuah Domase Traditional Council.



The AKAN, (according to J.B. Danquah).

One of the principal races in West Africa, inhabiting the Gold Coast, the Ivory Coast, some parts of French West Africa, up to the old kingdom of Ghana (near present Timbuktu), and speaking the Twi (Twui) language. The word is often pronounced Akane, and it is said to mean "foremost, genuine"; from kan, first. The best known representatives of the race are the Ashanti, Fanti, Akim, Akwapim, Assin and several of the present (Twi-speaking) races of the Gold Coast and Ivory Coast. The original form of the name, Akane or Akana, led to its corruption by the early Arabs of the Sudan into Ghana and by early Europeans who visited the the Coast of West Africa into Guinea. The Akan people were driven from their ancient home in Ghana, on the bend of the Niger, by the Almoravides (Molathemum or Muffled Moslems) in A.D. 1076. There was a tradition in Ghana (vide Flora Shaw, Lady Lugard: "A Tropical Dependency"), that the people of Ghana had originally come to the West Sudan from a country beyond or near the Taurus mountains (Taurudu). The current theory that the Ghana or Akane in Taurus was the same as the old Babylonian race known as Akkad, Agade or Akana, who lived on the Tigris and Euphrates, is strongly supported by the evidence of common features in the language of the ancient race and of the modern, as also in their customs. Archaelogy and anthropology have as yet revealed little, but Sir Henry Rawlinson and other Assyrologists bear testimony to the similarity between the language of Sumer and Akkad and certain African languages, an ancient group which is not Semitic. The Akan people of the Gold Coast have not been written up as well as well as they could be, but there is everything in favour of the hypothesis that they are an ancient race; that their institutions and customs are of ancient origin, e.g., the seven-day week, and that their sojourn in the Gold Coast, which is less than 900 years, is much shorter than their traceable sojourn as a people in the ancient and modern worlds.

Odomase Origins:

Odumase was founded [circa 1701] by Awuna Panyin [AwuaPanyin] a nephew of the Bantamahene- Bantama is near Kumasi- who had amassed great wealth in Gyaman and who, when he was due to succeed to the Bantama stool, left his town Awuna [Awua] in Gyaman with his people and thousands of slaves. Reaching Sunyani, he found that it was impractical to take them all to Bantama and left them behind in the care of his nephew Kwasi Bosomtwe, and under whom they built the town of Odumase. After the 1730 war, the whole area between Odumase and Bantama came under the overlordship of the Bantamahene, in recognition of the help Bantama had given to the Asantehene »»»»more


Fiapre- Kontire

Bontɛɛ - Akwamu

Abosa- Adonten





Barim Akyempem Ayakomaso-Twafuo

Reports of Early European Visitors

....The end of this day's march brought us to the village of Tetcheri [Tekyire].
On the 5th we only marched four hours, halting at the large village of Tanno-su [Tanoso],.........
After seven hours' marching we arrived at the town of Odomasi, a place apparently of some importance. The name signifies "under the Odom", which latter, I was informed by a native of the place, is a tree of somewhat small size characterized by a poisonous bark, the properties of which are so deadly as to occasion the death of any rats that may happen to gnaw it. The bark does not appear to be used medicinally, but it furnishes a poison that is made use of as an ordeal in some native trials. »»»»more

Yaa Asantewaa War Hero

Awua Domasehene
Nana Kwabena Kyere
Asanteman Army,
Yaa Asantewaa War
Spies brought information to the effect that the remaining rebel leaders had fled to the north-west, that Queen Ashantuah [Nana Yaa Asantewaa] had deposed Kofi Kofia [?Kofi Fofie] from the chief captainship of the army, and had made Kobina Cherri [Awua Domasehene Nana Kwabena Kyere], a powerful chief of Odumassi, her chief war captain..... Later on, more definite news reached Kumasi that the rebel leaders were all living in a town called Bechim [Bechem]..... »»»»more

A Crocodile Swallowing A Mudfish (extracted from photo of Nana Korang VI and retinue, below).

Pitire kɛseɛ a ɔda bunu mu ɔmemene adeɛ a ɔmemene ma ne wura dɛnkyɛm.
If the mudfish in the stream grows fat, it does so to the advantage of the crocodile (to whom it may fall a victim at any time) Ref: A.A.Y Kyerematen

Member, Kontire of Asante

Kontire ne Akwamu

Adinkra Symbol.
Ti korɔ nkɔ agyina
To wit, "One head does not constitute a Council".

Ko'ntiri ne Akwamu Kente Design

This design might be worn by the Asafo, Adum, and Bantama chiefs. The warp is entirely green, and the pattern takes its name from the weft design.
[see examples below. Photos courtesy of myjoyonline.com].
Ref: Rattray 239, 24

Gyau Atikɔ Adinkra Symbol

Literally, the back of Gyawu's head. Gyawu was a chief of Bantama who at the annual Odwira ceremony is said to have had his head shaved in this fashion.
Rattray: 265

Bosomtwe Stool.

Separating the Dormaa divisions were Sunyani, Antepim and Bosomtwe-Domase, Nsoatre and Berekum, which were administered as parts of Bantama, the Kronti division of the Kumasi state.
[Kwame Arhin].

Separating the Dormaa divisions were Sunyani, Antepim and Bosomtwe-Domase, Nsoatre and Berekum, which were administered as parts of Bantama, the Kronti division of the Kumasi state.
[Kwame Arhin].

Antepim Stool

The Convention People's Party's (CPP) Presidential Candidate, Paa Kwesi Nduom, visiting with Odomase Tiahene Odomfuor Kwasi Apraku III during Ghana's 2008 Presidential Election Campaign.

Odomase No 1 Omanhene, Nana Odomfuor Kwasi Apraku III (aka, Tiahene).

Former Ghanaian President, Jerry John Rawlings of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Party visiting with Odomase Tiahene Odomfuor Kwasi Apraku III during Ghana's 2008 Presidential Election Campaign.

The Nana Awua Brothers

The current Omanhene of Awua Domase, Nana Kwame Korang VI, mourning the passing of a Divisional Chief.
The current Omanhene of Awua Domase, Nana Kwame Korang VI, seated with his Queenmother, mourning the passing of a Divisional Chief.

1900: British Destroy Odomase.

....On the 11th [November 1900] the column marched to Odumassi, where I left a garrison of 300 men under the command of Major Browne . This town was the largest we had met with in this country, the king's palace being quite a handsome building........

During our halt in the town several Krepe traders, who were fugitives from the Ashantis, came in and begged for the protection of the British flag. They were rubber traders, Odumassi being the great rubber emporium of the north-west, and they found themselves, at the beginning of the war [Yaa Asantewaa War], prisoners of Kobina Cherri [Domasehene Nana Kwabena Kyere]... »»»»more

Odomase, Bantama and the Kwatwoma

The name Kwatwoma was derived from the Red Clay which we used to besmear our bodies as a symbol in time of war. Therefore as a result of this, the Kwatwoma were named after the Red Clay "Ntwoma".

As a result of frequent wars with the Akwamus in Akwapim, we the Kwatwomas had to migrate under the leadership of the great chief Nana Boahene Korkor to find solace in a large area of forest in Ashanti where he met two men hunting for elephants. He therefore settled at Suntresu near Bantama in Kumasi.

While we were staying at Suntresu, we hired there with Nana Dormahene, of course, with equal status as paramount chiefs. »»»»more

Bantama Chiefs

Baafuor Amankwatia Apraku Panin Adu Gyamera Awua Panin

Amankwatia II

Yaw Awua

Kwame Apraku

Kwabena Gyau I

Amankwatia III

Kwabena Awua

Amankwatia IV (died Seychelles)

Osei Bonsu of Manpong (usurper)

Yaw Berko

Kwame Kyem

Kwame Gyau II

Kwabena Awua (Bodwese)

Kwame Amankwatia V

Kwaku Gyau III

Owusu Amankwatia

Afua Moku, aka Afua Fofie: Common Ancestor of Odomase, Bantama Chiefs

From R.S. Rattray (1927):

Many Ashanti mothers do not feed their infants for the first two or three days after birth, but call in a wet nurse (obagyegyefoɔ), lit. 'one who receives the infant'. In the case of a child of the Oyoko or Royal clan, from which were drawn the Ashanti kings, this was always done. The woman so chosen was compelled to send away her own child and to nurse the royal baby. Such a foster-mother found great honour; she was fed on the best food and richly dressed; she might be given 'a stool' and subjects, and so become the founder of a new house. Her own child, which she had been compelled to leave with another woman to suckle, might also be made a chief. Many of the Coomassie [Kumasi] chiefs owe their position to this cause in the olden times. Afua Fofie [aka Afua Moku, a Dwaben woman], an ancestress of the present chief of Bantama, the Ashanti war lord, suckled the famous Ashanti king, Osae Tutu [Osei Tutu]. Afua Fofie was mother of Amankwatia who was created the Chief of Bantama.

Baafoɔ Amankwaatia I of Bantama

Ref: Osei Kwadwo, Part 2, Vol 1.

Bantama stool is among the four stools in the Kumase state which enjoy paramount status. The rest are Akyempem, Akwamu, and Adonten stools. Bantama stool is the paramount stool for the Kontire division of Kumase state.

The first occupant of the stool, Baafoɔ Amankwatia I and his people were believed to have come from Sebedie, near Kokofu. Baafoɔ Amankwatia I, who was the first occupant of the stool, was a friend to Nana Osei Tutu during their youthful days. Oral tradition has it that when the king of Denkyira, Nana Boamponsem, needed a royal from Kumase to come and serve at his court, Osei Tutu was the royal chosen for that service. Osei Tutu in turn requested his friend Amankwaatia to accompany him to Denkyira. Amankwaatia willingly accepted the invitation and followed Osei Tutu to Denkyira where both of them served at Denkyirahene's court. Another version of the history states that Amankwaatia was a stool carrier of the Denkyirahene. It was he who saved Nana Osei Tutu when he impregnated Ako Abenaa Bansua, the sister of Denkyirahene. A secret meeting was held where it was decided that he should be killed for the action. However, Amankwaatia who was at the meeting divulged it to Osei Tutu and hurriedly ran away with him in the night to Akwamu. In either way, Amankwaatia was with Nana Osei Tutu both in Denkyira and Akwamu. They also studied the war tactics of the Akwamu people together.

The current Omanhene of Awua Domase, Nana Kwame Korang VI, greeting Mr Aliu Mahama, the Vice President of the Republic of Ghana, at a State function. The Queenmother of Awua Domase is standing to the left of Nana, as is customary.

Bantama Oaths (Ntam)

I shall close this chapter by giving a list of the forbidden expressions peculiar to some of the more important stools in Ashanti......

For the great Asafohene in Coomassie [Kumasi] these tabooed words were, and still are, as follows:

For the Bantama chief: merely the mention of the word ntwoma, red clay, i.e. a sign of mourning. This taboo had its origin in the fact that Amankwatia- later a famous chief of Bantama- was returning from Akwamu, accompanying Osai Tutu [Osei Tutu], before the latter became king, when news was brought to the latter of the death of Obiri Yeboa, the Ashanti king [Kwaman chief, Asante did not exist then]. Amankwatia then offered himself as an akyer (a sacrifice) and was smeared with red clay preparatory to being killed. Later, Osae Tutu released him, and he lived to become his great general. The fine for its use is osoa ne domma (£2 7s. 0d).

Another Bantama taboo- in this sense- is the use of the words Amankwatia Kwasiada, i.e., Amankwatia Sunday. I could not obtain the origin of the prohibition to use these words,.... Naturally the persons concerned are greatly averse even to mention these words, and most of the information here recorded was told me in whispers

Ref: Rattray, pp 213-214

Likely Origin of "Kwasiada" Oath

Nana Kwabena Kyere's Loyalty to the Golden Stool

Nana Kwabena Kyere, occupant of Bosomtwe Stool of Odomasi in the former Western Asante boldly surrendered himself to the British soldiers when he learned that Yaa Asantewaa had been arrested after the war. He led his subjects to attack... whites and their supporters when Asante declared war on the "white man". The Odomasi Stool is an extension of the Kurontire Division of the Kumasi Traditional Council, which is headed by Bantamahene. Nana Kwabena Kyere demonstrated his loyalty to the Golden Stool by taking part in the war to defend the Sacred Stool from being captured by foreigners. He was taken to Kumasi on July 23 [actually, November 23, see account by Capt Armitage et al] tried on the 24 and hanged on Sunday, the 25th 1900. His execution on Sunday gave the Odumasi Stool the oath- "Kwasiada". Moments after his execution, Nana Kwabena Kyere was granted posthumous pardon on Monday the 26th by Her Majesty, the Queen in a telegram ordering the release of all detained captives of the Yaa Asantewaa War. Nana Kyere had been hanged shortly before the Queen's message was received. Nana Kyere thus became something of a legend as a result of the clouds which overshadowed the sun thoughout the day of his execution. Nana Kyere had been nominated to succeed Nana Amankwatia, Bantamahene, but this was delayed because of the Yaa Asantewa war.

Ref: Asirifi-Danquah, Yaa Asantewaa: The Woman Who Led An Army To Resist Colonialism. Spring of Water Foundations International, Box 315, KNUST, Kumasi (ISBN 9988-8028-0-3) pp 65-66