Odomase's Neighbours: Awua-Domase

Duayaw Nkwanta


The Sunyani District, the region stretching in a north-westerly direction from Kumasi to Pamu, near the border of the French Ivory Coast, was, it appears, very thinly populated before 1600. It was an area covered with thick forest, which sprang into life when during the 17th century Kumasi, and Bonduku in Gyaman, developed into centres of trade; the towns then founded were all situated on the trade road connecting the two cities.

A temporary state north of Pamu is the only state known to have been in existence before 1600. It was founded some time after Dwenemu near Diabakurom by the refugees from Kumbu Kingdom, and today neither its name nor its fate is remembered. Dwenemu was built on the trade route running from Elmina, via Twifo-Heman, to Kong, the ancient Kumbu capital.

About 1600 the Nkwanta State was founded by a Chief of the Koona clan from Bono-Mansu, who had been sent by the Bonohene to the court of the King of Denkyira (i.e. to the Agona Chief at Ntutumbe-Apeanyinase somewhere north-east of Bondatifi; Denkyira was not yet in existence). He decided on his return to settle in the country around Takyimantia and finally founded the Nkwanta State. Unfortunately, the Nkwantahene thought it impossible to let me know the origin of his stool, with the result that I was unable to verify the information [This information was given to me by the Takyimanhene Nana Akumfi Ameyaw II].

The Nkwanta State, according to the Nkwanta tradition, was founded at Manekwaem by the Queenmother Nkwanta Serwa and Dua Yaw I, whose descendants boast the title of Bono-Nkyempem-hene- "King of thousands of Bonos" which is said to mean that the Nkwantahene "is senior King among the kings of the Bonos"

[Information given by the Nkwantahene Nana Boakye Tromo II. Bono-nkyempem was originally the title of the Bonohene, but after the destruction of Bono the Takyimanhene, Nkwantahene and Wankyihene added it to their own titles. The abodin titles or appellations of the present Nkwantahene are as follows:

Tromu Akwasi a obi nnim na boasu,


Etwie a ote ne po mu,

Bono-Nkyempem-Dua Yaw, Nkwantahene, Tete Berempon,

Adu Kwao, Nfrifriwa a ne ho akwan aduasa,

Gyameradu a okum asee,

Boafo Ako, ako….


Tromu Kwasi…., whose origin no one knows

King of the dark forest,

The leopard at his door,

Dua Yaw, King of thousands of Bonos, Nkwantahene, great Lord of old,

Adu Kwao (name of plant with numerous offshoots), whose offshoots are many,

Gyameradu (name for a person who killed his father-in-law or mother-in-law, possibly a reference to the founder’s marriage with the daughter of a conquered Brosa chief or queenmother)

Boafo (a name meaning "warrior") who fought and fought….]

In the early days Nkwanta bordered on Banda in the north-west, and Bono in the north and north-east, and the people of Bono-Mansu and Takyiman would meet in the frontier town of Akyenhatae for the purposes of trade. When the later Wankyi people settled at Bonsuaa (during the reign of the third Nkwantahene) the Wankyi and Nkwanta people met at Kyraa [Chiraa], which developed from a camp of the Nkwantahene’s hunters into a market town. In the west and south Nkwanta bordered on Sehwi, till this state was destroyed by Asante in 1743; in the east on the small state of Offinso, founded by people from Kumasi [The Offinsu State was founded by Wiafe, who after his death was succeeded by Dwamena Tia Akenten, a prince of the Nkwanta royal house (Nkwanta tradition)], and on the Kumasi region itself. After 1700 the region to the east became, of course, Asante.

About 1660, when Asantemanso was destroyed, a large number of Doma refugees came to Nkwanta and settled in various places but mainly at Fawoman (Nsuta) and Abesem. The majority of the Doma, however, settled beyond the Tano River in the region of Berekum, where they founded Abamperedease on land that belonged to Aduana clan people of Bono origin, to-day called the Suatre people after their present town, which is about 20 miles from Berekum [Information given by the Suatrehene Nana Yao Nti II and his elders].

About 1700 the Doma town Asuntiriso [Suntreso] (near Kumasi) was destroyed by Osei Tutu, and when the refugees sought refuge in Nkwanta, Osei Tutu invaded the country (probably shortly after the Denkyira war). The Doma and Nkwanta people were beaten and retreated into Gyaman, a state which had been founded by the Doma after the destruction of Asantemanso. Nkwanta became a vassal state of Asante, but the Nkwantahene Sekyi Amanda and his chiefs and elders, unwilling to return, erected a state among the Mfoto in Gyaman. A prince, however, was sent back to Nkwanta and he, under the name of Koto Asamoa, took an oath of allegiance to Osei Tutu and was created Nkwantahene of a greatly reduced Nkwanta State. He rebuilt the destroyed capital. on the banks of the river Paupau. Koto Asamoa was accompanied by a Doma prince when he returned from Gyaman. The latter became the chief of the Doma community at Abesem after he too had sworn an oath of allegiance to Osei Tutu [information given by Nkwantahene Nana Boakye Tromu II and his elders].


Rudimentary colonial era map showing the relative locations of Odomase and her neighbours. Reproduced from "Akan Traditions of Origin".