Cultural Aspects of the Akan People

Aaron Collingwoog
2 min readMay 27, 2021

Who are the Akan People?

The Akan Group holds great historical importance as an ethnic group residing in West Africa. More than 20 million people of the Akan tribe live in West Africa presently. They speak the “Kwa” and Twi languages (of the Niger-Congo family) mostly.

Origination:

The Akan tribe originated in central and southern Ghana and on the southeastern Ivory Coast. They migrated from the Sahara Desert to their current location in the 11th Century. The Akan society comprises an exogamous matrilineal clan which is organized in a hierarchical manner and is divided into local matrilineages, which formed the basic social, cultural, and political units of the Akan society.

Ofori Frimpong-Manson, in his book, “The Akan people and their journey, culture, and tradition,” presents his research on the Akan tribe, discussing many aspects of their lifestyle, aiming to shed light on their history and associated prophecies. Beginning from their settlement in Africa and their descendant’s whereabouts, their culture, and traditions, their architecture, to their trade relations with the Europeans, this book will prove to be a very informative and interesting read for history lovers.

Culture and Traditions:

The Akan mythological stories are known as anansesem, which in the literal sense, means “the spider’s story”, but conceptually it implies the meaning “traveler’s tale”. These tales are mostly about a trickster spirit, aka Kwaku Ananse, which is often portrayed as a human, spider or their combination.

The Akan art purely speaks of the West African culture. The most popular work of art includes gold crafting, handwoven cloth, pottery, raffia baskets, and carved stools.

They also have a rich taste in music. Their community is fond of a samba dance style and high-life music which is mostly performed in urban nightclubs.

When it comes to food, the Akan economy is popular for Yams, their stale food crops. Cocoa, palm oil, taro, and plantains are also their major commercial resources.

Some cultural elements of the Akan society are observed in some areas of the world. Their traditional practices, however, remain centralized in the neighboring West African people.

About the Author

Ofori Frimpong-Manson is an aspiring author, an influential personality, and someone that thrives off of helping people succeed. He has wanted to for some time now but hasn’t been able to do so until now. Being closely connected to the group, he feels that it is his responsibility to educate the people about the group, and so he decided to publish their stories and research about the Akan People in the book, “The Akan people and their journey, culture, and tradition.”

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