About The Akan Tribe of Ghana

The Akan people are a historically important ethnic group of West Africa. With over 20 million members the Akans are one of the biggest Ethnic groups in West Africa today. The Akan are the largest ethnic group in both Ghana and the Ivory Coast. The Akan speak Kwa languages which are part of the larger Niger-Congo family.

Origin of The Akan Tribe of Ghana

The greater Akan people (macro-ethnic group) speak Kwa languages. The proto-Kwa language is believed to havecome from East/Central Africa, before settling in the Sahel. The people who became known as the Akan migrated from the Sahel to coastal west Africa. The kingdom of Bonoman was firmly established in the 12th century by the Akan people. Bonoman was a trading state between the Akan and neighboring people especially those from Djenné. During different phases of the Bonoman empire groups of Akans migrated out of the area to create numerous states based predominantly on gold mining and trading of farm products.

 History of the Akan Tribe of Ghana

From the 15th century to the 19th century, the Akan people dominated gold mining and the gold trade in the region.From the 17th century on, the Akan were among the most powerful group(s) in west Africa. They fought many battles against the European colonists to maintain autonomy. During the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, enslaved Akans such as the Coromantins of Jamaica and descendants of the Akwamu in St. John, and many others were responsible for many slave rebellions in the new world.
By the early 1900s, all Akan lands in Africa were colonized or protectorates of the French and English. On the 6th of March 1957, Akan lands in the Gold Coast rejected British rule, by the efforts of Kwame Nkrumah, and were joined with British Togoland to form the independent nation of Ghana. The Ivory Coast became independent on 7 August1960.

Akan Subgroups

The Akan Ethnic group includes the following subgroups: Ashanti, the Akwamu, the Akyem , the Akuapem, the Denkyira, the Abron, the Aowin, the Ahanta, the Anyi, the Baoule, the Chokosi, the Fante, the Kwahu, the Sefwi, the Ahafo, the Assin, the Evalue, the Wassa the Adjukru, the Akye, the Alladian, the Attie,the M’Bato, the Abidji, the Avikam,the Avatime the Ebrie, the Ehotile, the Nzema, the Abbe, the Aboure, the Coromantins, the Ndyuka people and other peoples of both modern day Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire or of origin in these countries.


The Akan Tribe of Ghana Photo
The Akan Tribe of Ghana Photo

The Akan People Culture

Akan culture is one of the purest West African cultures that still exist today. Akan art is wide-ranging and renowned, especially for the tradition of crafting bronzegold weights, which were made using the lost wax casting method. The Akan culture is the most dominant and apparent in present-day Ghana.Some of their most important mythological stories are called anansesem. Anansesem literally means ‘the spider story’, but can in a figurative sense also mean”traveler’s tales”. These “spider stories” are sometimes
also referred to as nyankomsem; ‘words of a sky god’.The stories generally, but not always, revolve around Kwaku Ananse, a trickster spirit, often depicted as a spider, human, or a combination thereof.Elements of Akan Culture also include but are not limited to:
• Kente
• Adinkra
• Sankofa
• Akan goldweights
• Akan names
• Akan Chieftaincy
• Akan Calendar
• Akan religion
• Akan art
• Oware
• Adamorobe Sign Language
Akan philosophy and inheritance including:
• Abusua (Modja) – What an Akan inherits from his mother
• Ntoro – What an Akan gets from their father but, one does not belong to their Ntoro instead, they belong to their
• Sunsum – What an Akan develops from their interaction with the world
• Kra – What an Akan gets from Onyame (God)