OF AKYEM STATE
is a traditional area in the Eastern Region of Ghana.
Historically, it has been attested that the AKYEMS were
one of the first Akan tribes to migrate southwards after
the fall of the ancient SONGHAI EMPIRE. The Akyem states,
commonly known as "AKYEM MANSA", consists of three
main independent states, all grouped in the Eastern Region,
with common language, culture, customs and historical
background. The states are:
AKYEM ABUAKWA - the largest of the states in terms of
land, size, population and natural resources.
AKYEM KOTOKU - the second largest.
AKYEM BOSOME - the smallest of the three.
Akyems, according to history were a part of the then all
powerful ADANSI KINGDOM, the first nation to build mud
houses in their kingdom at that time; hence the name "ADANSI"
(Builders). The Ashanti Kingdom emerged and under the
leadership of Nana Osei Tutu, they fought and defeated
the Adansis about the 14th Century and absorbed the Adansi
Kingdom into the growing Ashanti Kingdom.
Akyem nations which were then part of the Adansi Kingdom,
broke away and crossed the River Pra to settle on its
banks to avoid becoming subjects of the Ashantis. Nana
Osei Tutu decided to pursue them across the River Pra
to teach them a lesson. That was a great miscalculation!
While crossing the river with his army, he was shot by
the Akyems who were lying in ambush on the other side
of the river. He fell dead into the river. This was on
a Thursday; hence, the great oath of the Ashantis, ("Meka
Yawada"- I swear by Thursday). For this, the Akyems
who carried out this defeat became known as "Abuakwanfo"
or "Abuakwafo", (Guerrilla Fighters). The Ashantis
retreated and this tragedy made it a taboo for any Ashanti
King up to the time of Nana Prempeh I (circa 1900) to
cross the River Pra to the south except their armies.
was succeeded by his nephew, NANA OPOKU WARE I,
who vowed to avenge his uncle's death by renewing the
war against the Akyems. The Akyems, knowing too well what
the Ashantis intend to do after the death of King Osei
Tutu, moved southeastwards. As a result of this movement,
some of the Akyems, especially the Kotokus, settled in
the present day Ashanti-Akyem area. The majority of the
Akyems, however, continued to move southeastwards and
settled in several areas along the the way until they
came into contact with the AKWAMUS, who were a
powerful nation inhabiting and ruling the tribes from
Asamankese to Nyanawase (which was then their capital
and part of Akwapim).
Akyems, especially the Abuakwas, had to fight the Akwamus
and got settled in the areas evacuated by the Akwamus.
However, the Akwamus left some of their people at Anum
Asamankese and Sakyikrom which are today part of Akyem
Abuakwa; as well as Adoagyiri, now inhabited by the Kotokus.
The Akyem Abuakwas made their temporary capitals in several
areas, including Praso, until they finally settled at
Pameng. However, it was during the reign of NANA OFORI
PANIN that the capital of Akyem Abuakwa was finally
moved to "Kyebirie" (named after a black hat used
by a hunter using the area as his hunting grounds). It
is now known as KYEBI , where the Aduana clan had
the Akyem Kotoku settled at Nsutam-Bososo area with their
capital at Gyadam. During the reign of the great warrior
king of the Akyems, Nana Owusu Akyem Tenten, the
Guans and Dawus appealed to him for help to drive the
Akwamus out of their area for them to enjoy peace. He
agreed to send his nephew, Odehyee Safori, with an army
made up mostly of the people of Akyem Akropong (the Twafo
section of the Adonten Division) to go to the aid of the
the Dawus, the Guans and others. Odehyee Safori succeeded
in driving the Akwamus out of what is today known as Akwapim,
with its capital called Akropong, named after Akyem Akropong.
Safori pursued the Akwamus across the River Volta, where
they settled up to this day, with their capital at Akwamufie.
the return to Akwapim by the victorious Akyem Abuakwa
army from the banks of the Volta river, Odehyee Safori
and his army, with the consent of the Okyehene, Nana Owusu
Akyem Tenten, his uncle, agreed to stay in Akwapim to
protect the Akwapims from any further attacks by the Akwamus.
To signify this agreement, a stone was "buried" and that
the Akyems were to return to Akyem Abuakwa only when that
stone had "grown". Odehyee Safori became the Paramount
Chief (Akuapimhene) with Akropong Akwapim as his capital
of the newly founded Akwapim State. His nephew also became
the Amanokromhene and the Gyasehene of the Akwapim state.
Okyeman History Continue