Saturday, 21 November 2009
People of Ghana
The people of modern Ghana are generally divided into four main regional groupings, each of which shares a similar language and culture. The Mole-Dagbani of the Northern Region were the first to establish their approximate modern territory, migrating from the Lake Chad region in the thirteenth century to establish the Mamprusi kingdom at Gambaga. The area to the east of lake Volta is inhabited by the Ewe, fifteenth century migrants from eastern Nigeria. Ewe society is the least centralized of any in modern Ghana and each of the roughly 130 small Ewe chieftaincies is entirely autonomous. The other important grouping of the east is the Ga-Adangbe, made up of the Ga people of the Accra coastal plain and the Adangbe of Ada and Somanya. Like the Ewe, the Ga-Adangbe are originally from eastern Nigeria.
The most significant population group in modern Ghana, territorially and numerically is the Akan. The Akans of the southern and central part of the country embrace several dozen culturally similar and historically allied peoples, the best known of which are the Ashanti of the Kumasi area and the Fante of the central coast. The Akan comprise more than half of modern Ghana’s population and inhabit five of its ten administrative regions: Western, Central, Eastern, Ashanti and Brong-Ahafo. Although every Akan village has its own chief, political centralization into larger kingdoms has been a recurrent feature of Akan history, from the fourteenth century Bono kingdom of Techiman to recent entities such as Ashanti and Fante. The Akan are thought to have migrated to modern Ghana from the Sahel.