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THE TWO ASSIN STATES (2)pdf print preview print preview
11/12/2010Page 1 of 1


Know the origin of towns

Story: Kwame Ampene (Founder of the Guan Historical Society)

As tradition has it, autonomous states of Assin Attandansu and Assin Apemanim in the Central

Region, attribute their humble beginnings to the coming together of the Etsi aborigins and the

Akan immigrants — the Akosontire and the Afutuakwa — characterized by friendship and support.

The Etsi known as the TSIFUWIFO, i.e. growers of long and unkempt hair lived With the ASOKETEFO, a generation of people with broad ears which served as their sleeping mats; they lived in the Sehwi region, but have since become extinct with the arrival of the Sehwi migrant-settlers in their great numbers.

Today, the descendants of the Etsi lived at Bosomadwe, Adoe, Akomfode, Mokiwaa, Gyiwase, Akropong, Wurakese and Akekanse, historians claim that the Etsi originally to the Guan ethnic group — the undisputed aboriginal inhabitants of modern Ghana.

It was the usual practice of the Etsi to willingly offer lands to the incoming Assin so that they in turn would reciprocate by protecting them from them from the hands of predatory tribes, particularly the Fante who drove the Fante the Etsi away from Adowagyir and renamed the place Mankessim. (Vide:’ Fynn J. K. ‘The pre-Borbor Fante States’ lAS, Legon, 1974).

The AKOSONTIRE were the earliest Akan immigrants from Asante-Akyem Juaso. According to legend that their founding father, Otoku Dum, a courageous hunter from Juaso, penetrated deep into the forest belt and killed a chimpanzee (Twi: Akonson). He buried the head at a secret spot and returned to Juaso to disclose that he had discovered a vast stretch of uninhabited an own south. He organized some followers with whom they set out to the secret spot where they decided to settle permanently. For this reason, they were nicknamed “Akosontire”.

The AFUTUAKWA of present-day Assin Fosu were another group of Akan who claim origin from Adanse Afutuakwa from where they emigrated to Adrofo near Praso. They were under the leasership of Anim kuma of the royal Asakyiri clan they met the Akosomtire at Juaso under their fifth ruler, Nana Asiedu Munduo.

Later, the Afutuakwas came into contact with the Asene clan people of Assin-Fanti Nyankomase under kwadwo Tsibu near the Konkom River where they drank fetish to aid one another in time of distress.The Fosu ancestors had been a people in constant conflict with warlike neighbours; yet they were determined that whoever should attack them would first get “wet” and then (mouldy). This is the origin and meaning of the name FOSU. Derive from the expression “Fo” (Wet) and “su” (moudly).


Assin Attandansu Traditional Area comprises Assin-Fanti Nyankumasi established by the royal Asene family under the leadership of kwadwo Tsibu and Assin Nyakumasi founded by the Oyoko family from Adanse Aboabo under Kwaku Aputae.

The traditional evidence of the ruling Asene family indicates that they originally lived at Dompoase under Tsibu Odinahenkan, and when they became hemmed in by the growing power of Denkyirahene Boa Amposem they bolted away and joined the Asene clan-brothers at kumase Amakom during the reign of their second ruler, Yeboah Suama.

Legend has it that one Akwasidae Festival; Okomfo Anokye invited all the Stool Elders in and around Kumase to witness a magic performance the next day at Kumase Adwabirem. At the gathering, Okomfo Anokye threw an “akofena” (a mystical sword) into the sky and urged the Elders to struggle for it as soon as it touched the ground. During the struggle that ensued it was Nana Tofa of the Asene clan who held the handle, while another person held the blade. Thereupon Okomfo Anokye advised the Asantehene to always deploy Asene clan at Amakom into the Adonten Division (i.e. the Van Guard) so that the Asante army would always emerge victorious. They waged many successful wars. Even in 1752, Nana Tsibu won the appellation: “Otibo-Kore­ Banda “in recognition of his bravery during the Asante-Banda war in which asantehene Osei Kwadwo (1752-1781) defeated Worasa, chief of Banda, and made the Banda country serve him.

After the war they decided to pull out due to constant warfare which had a heavy toll on their men. Frustrated, they deserted Amakom under Aputae Asare and founded Nimiaso, named after the Nimia Stream, a tributary of the Pra River.

When the Asantehene got wind of the sudden departure he dispatched an army of 4,000 strong men to pursue and during them back, but the Army General failed accomplish the task because they had already crossed the Pra River.

Nana Kwadwo Tsibu succeeded and became a great friend of Kwaku Aputae of the Oyoko clan who had emigrated from Adanse Aboabo where the first ruler was Appia Adu Bafan who was succeeded by Kusi Boadu. Therefore Kwaku Aputae became the third ruler.

At Nimiaso they found themselves in the war path of the Asante army. Therefore, the two leaders moved together to Ntensu Akropong (now Owan) on the Central Railway line where they met the Etsi autochthones at Akronpon, Bosomadwe and Patani.

After a sojourn they continued the long arduous journey southwards and came into contact with the Assin Tenemanso. Soon Nana Kwadwo Tsibu broke off and trekked southward to a distance of about 48 kilometres and built a new settlement under the Nyankuma- tree, which place became known as NYANKUMASE (a tree and its edible fruit resembling custard-apple).


Earlier, at Tenemanso they had sent for their women and children left behind in Asante territory. The myth is that mortality rate at Nyamedua was so high that their leader consulted the oracle of the god Tano and was instructed to fetch sacred water from the Tano River, then store it in a pot, and placed it on a forked-post of the Nyamedua to be erected at the threshold of the chief’s residence as a sign of protection.


Kwame Ampene(founder of the Guan Historical Society)

Rather mysteriously the spirit of the Tano god which dwelt in the sacred water reduced the mortality rate considerably. And by corruption ‘Tano-nsu’’ (i.e. water from River Tano and the name ATTANDANSU was derived.

ASSIN APEMANIM The Asona royal family occupying the Paramount Stool of Assin  Apemanim, trace their origin to an undisclosed destination in Asante –Akyem from where they migrated to Kwaman (now Kumase) under the leadership of Nana Abu Brafo, a powerful chief who commanded a thousand guns.

The third chief, Minta Abu I, become Osei Tutu’s baninyere’ i.e.  ‘’a male friend held as dear as wife and presented him with ‘’Akofena ‘’ (a state sword). It was the fourth chief, Amoa Adade, who led his people to a place called Asa in Adanse, near Obuasei, and won the appellation ‘’Ansa-a-ne-dom-nsa-da’’ (Ansa whose army never falls short).

From then, they became known as the APEMAINIM, (‘’Wode pem anim a, na awae’’) literally .meaning if you face them, you suddenly fall back.

Still the Assin who had taken refuge in the South were regarded as belonging to the Asante sphere of influence, if not actually to its empire.

The Ansa contingent was, therefore, constantly recalled to fight for Kumase in all wars. While the Ansas were positioned at Ansa-Amanfoso , ,they were drafted to Gyaman war in the north –west in 1818. In the Gyamanhen. Adinkra was captured and taken prisoner.

After the Adinkra war, Assin contigents never joined the main Asante army in subsequent wars.

The next chiefs in succession were Kwanin Akyem,Minta Abu and Ntodwa whose death created a long vacuum during which the reign of government fell in the hands of a regent ,Nana Nkyi Korkor.

During their prolonged stay at Ansa, it is alleged that as a result of a misunderstanding between a food –seller and a certain Asante trader, the latter reported the matter to the Asantehene who didn’t bother to investigate the remote cause. Instead the king dispatched troops to punish the Ansa people, claiming that they had insulted him. The troops took them unawares, and the total defeat brought about the saying ‘’Enam sika pesewa nti na Adanseman boe’’, i.e. A dispute over three-half pence resulted in the virtual destruction of Adanse nation.

In the midst of the pandemonium, Nana Nkyi Korkor and his clan brothers, Breku and Nyantakyikrom, migrated southwards in search of new lands. They met the Etsi and the Akosontire and chose to settle at Dansoman before they moved on to old Apenanim, between Breku and Assin –Nyankumasi(now in ruins).

A war captain, Akuamoa Batafo, assisted the Etsi who were repellsing Fante attack to he extent that the Etsi of Andoe reward Nana Nkyi Korkor with a virgin forest land to settle on.They moved from Dansoman and stayed permanently at Aman-nyinaa-so now corrupted into MANSO

See, for Example: Public Records and Archives Administration Department Accra ADM 11/1/849 Assin Nyakumase (Attandansu) Native Affairs Case No 35/1923 ADM 11/1/764 Assin Apemanim-Adonten Stool (Andoe Manso Native Affairs766) Case No 52/1919

ADM 11/1/1925.


                     The Spectator         Page   31                Saturday, December, 11, 2010.

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