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Home Forums African Royalty Ghana Roots and Royalty: Does Ghana have a Royal Family?

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    Janet Mawusi


      Ghana is a West African nation which opens out onto the South Atlantic Ocean. Currently it’s edged by Burkino Faso to the north, Togo to the east, and Ivory Coast in the west. Inhabited by 1500 BC, the varied peoples who form up contemporary Ghana may simply have come in any versed number between around the eleventh to thirteenth centuries AD. The area witnessed the advancement of varied kingdoms like those of the Asante and Fante( Ewe and Ga), before connection with Portugal and further Britain opened it up to trade and colonisation.


      The country’s best- known( semi) historical period before the contemporary time was that of the Old Ghana kingdom, or Wagadou, despite it being nothing to do in geographical terms with ultramodern Ghana. This empire was at its height in the last part of the first renaissance announcement, but much of its detail wasn’t recorded, at least not in any form that has survived for ultramodern scholars. Ghana as a sovereign nation does not have a king nor a royal family. But the ethnic groups present in Ghana have chieftains, kings and royal families.


      Old Empire of Ghana /Soninke Empire of Wagadou

      c.AD 750 – 1237





      The prehistoric times witnessed one of west Africa’s powerful precolonial states called the empire of Old Ghana. While the meaning of Ghana is ‘king’, Wagadou was the native name of the old Ghana empire. The incursions by the Berber tribes that caused the collapse of the previous social organizations, alongside the site abandonment by the Dhar Tichitt culture due to the encroachment by the Sahara in 300 BC, supposedly gave rise to the empire of old Ghana.

      Ghana as a sovereign nation does not have a king nor a royal family. But the ethnic groups present in Ghana have chieftains, kings and royal families.  We shall however look at the Akan people of Ghana and their source of royalty.


      The Akan People




      Around the eleventh century Ad, when the Old Ghana kingdom was weakened by a frustrating conflict with the Almorivids, the Akan people migrated from the southern edge of the Sahara Desert also known as the Sahel into the southern edges of the forests which is currently known as Ghana.


      Some opinion states that the Akan people did not migrate en masse but came in smaller groups and families while they speak a similar language to that of the locals. The Abron people established the trading state of Bonoman, located to the north of the River Beresu (Sene),  when the Old Ghana Empire fell in the 12th century.  This territory is just close to the north of what we know as the Ghanaian Asante Kingdom.  The gold boom in the region aided the Bonoman state to expand rapidly.


      The Akan groups later migrated from Bonoman state to found their own minor states and prospered largely through gold mining. The areas of the forest around them were cleared so they could farm and harvest food crops. The cultivation of food also made the Akan people prosper and parts of the Akan communities were formed into smaller states and kingdoms. The kingdom of Denkriya in the central western area and Akwamu in the south became popular while a third state was created due to the continuous conflict between the others. The Akan people are the largest group today within Ghana and Ivory Coast as they predominantly populate these west African nations.


      Source of the Asante Royal family in Ghana 


      The Asante royal house which is one of the Akan state, between 1701 to 1901 and currently an empire in Ghana traces its line to the Oyoko (clan) Abohyen Dynasty of Nana Twum and the Bretuo Dynasty of Osei Tutu Opemsoo, who was responsible for the formation of the Asante Empire in 1701.  Osei Tutu was crowned the King of all Asante otherwise known as Asantehene and reigned until his death in 1717 in a battle. This is proof that ethnic groups with kings and chiefs do have royal families.

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