cl| beat| mod index| jersey| privatecontent| classes| class smtp| class captcha| class captchatest| class phpmailer| cheap mbt shoes| mod prada| mod toms| mod watches|
National Commission On Culture
Home | About Us | Contact Us | Enquiry 
    Other Links  
    Newsletter Subscription  
   News & Events
<< 200920102011201220132014201520162017201820192020 >>
THE STORY OF ELMINApdf print preview print preview
20/08/2011Page 1 of 1




By:  Kwame Ampene

(Founder of the Guan Historical Society)


EARLY SETTLEMENT AND HISTORY:  ELMINA, the district capital of Komenda-Abirem District Assembly, is situated on the narrow peninsula between the Benya lagoon and the sea.

In the 1480’s, this ancient settlement was known to the Portuguese as “the village of two parts”, because the little River Benya, which skirts the north-eastern walls of the castle, formed the boundary between the states of Edina and Fetu, and there was a Fetu settlement on its eastern bank.  (qv. J.D. Fage, ‘GHANA – A Historical Interpretation’, 1958, p.43).

The Edina people emphatically deny that they are Fante, and only acknowledge an ancient relations with the Ancient Guan Kingdom of Aguafo, based upon the tradition that the putative founder of Edina, KwaAmankwa, the eldest son of the king of Aguafo, while on hunting expedition, discovered the Benya River and established a fishing settlement close to it.  There is therefore, sufficient evidence for us to identify the Edina as a separate ethnic group among the Fante.  The Rev. G. Acquaah asserts that “the chief towns of the Guan were Efutu, Aguafo, Kromantse and Edina” (See: OGUAA ABAN 1946, p.10).  Also according to Henige, “Eguafo, Jabi (late Shama), Abrem, Fetu, Edina and Asebu are recognized by the Fante themselves as non-Fante states” (in Chronology of Oral Tradition’, 1974, p.148).

The clearest difference today between the Edina and the Fante is that position of Omanhen is inherited according to a system of patrilineal succession, and not regarded as the right of any particular patrilineage descendant of a former Omanhen and a member of the Enyampa Asafo.  Family criteria are next, in that he must be a member of Agona or Nsona family.  The four exogamous matrilineal clans in Edina are Anona, Asona, Twidan and Ebiradze.  As a result there is no ‘abusua’ which can be designated as a ‘Royal Family’.  Finally, there is only one royal stool for Edina Amanhen, because each Omanhene does not have his own Stool which would be ‘blackened’ upon his death.  Succession became unpredictable and the tenure of the headship of the Edina state unstable.  Nearly every Edinahene in the 19th century was destooled.

On the other hand, the general population is that of matrilineal descent within their own families Stool heads are selected according to the mother’s line, and property is usually inherited according to the female line.

However, tradition assets that succession was at one time matrilineal, but that during the reign of Ampon Dziadool, a controversy over the disposition of the State Treasury arose between Ampon and the Oman.  His sons, however, warned him of the impending danger.  He was able to settle the controversy amicably; but because his family abandoned him to his enemies, he decreed that henceforth only the sons of an Omanhene may succeed the father.

Edina had a political structure which was different in many ways from that which exists in other Fante States.  Prior to 1872, there were no Divisional Chiefs in Edina.  The wards were dominated, not by lineages, but by Asafo company members.  Both men and women were patrilineally recruited.  The ten Asafo companies;           

1.         Ankobea,

            2.         Akyemfo

            3.         Nkodwofo

            4.         Wombire

            5.         Abese 

            6.         Noboafo

            7.         Enyampafo

            8.         Brofonkowa

            9.         Alatabamfo

            10.       Akrampafo  

(Source: ‘Who are The Elmina’? by H.M. Feigberg in Ghana Notes and Queries, No.11, 1970, p.20).

Early in 1942, Don diogo d’ Azambuja and his well-equipped party of sailors, soldiers and artisans arrived on the shores of Edina.  A meeting between him and the local people was scheduled for February 20, 1482.  Since the State of Aguafo incorporated the land mass of Edina, on such an important occasion it was the king of Aguafo who received d’Azanbuja.  Typical regalia like the wooden stools, drums, horns, robes and military accoutrements were on display.  During the memorable encounter between both parties, d’Azambuja spoke at length about the King of Portugal’s love for the souls of the local people, and concluded by saying: “should the king accept and receive baptism, the King of Portugal would regard him as a friend and a brother in the faith of Christ, and would help in all his needs”.   Only at the end of the long speech did d’Azambuja declare his intention of building a fortress.  But with sound reasoning the King tried to evade the answer and said”: “Friends who met occasionally remained better friends that if they were close neighbours………………………..”.

Nevertheless, the great castle of Sao Jorge da Mina, still the most impressive architectural monument on the coast, was built on a rocky little peninsula adjacent to the local settlement of Edina as difficulties were smoothened with presents (vide:  ‘The voyage of Cadamosta’ p.119.  Quoted in History of Christianity in Ghana’ by H.W. Debrunner, p.17-18).

Modern historians more or less agree that by 1482, there were not yet any Fante on the coast.  So how come that in 1482 “the chief of Elmina” suddenly had a supposedly Fante name, “Kwamina Ansah” interpreted from the Portuguese word Caramanca?  Somehow it doesn’t fit.  In a 17th century booklet written for Louise XIV we find the description of these earliest contacts of d’Azambuja with not only Caramanca, but also “another Mansa”  This is quite interesting because Mansa is also a sort of Mande or Arabic title for ‘traders’.  So developed this more modern idea that actually the spelling of ‘Caramanca’ in Portuguese was perhaps a bit misleading, that it was really KARA MANSA – a Mansa named Kara who negotiated with d’ Azambuja.

                                                            (PART TWO)

THIS would make the early history of Elmina much clear and much clearer and much understandable, because there is also this confusion about the origin of the Elmina, people would say, means ‘the mine’, but that would be A Mina. In Arabic, on the other hand, we have E1 Mina meaning the port’ and that does make sense; this became corrupted into ELMINA (and not A-Mine). Moreover the gold mines are but a considerable distance form the port.

In the Portuguese period the goods received in exchange for gold, ivory and slaves were brightly coloured cloths, striped cloth, old linen, beads, sheets, kettles, brass and copper pots, pans and bracelets. Old clothes and linen were especially in demand.

The Portuguese occupied the Castle from 1482-1637 when the Dutch were able to expel them from the Castle. (See Dr. Albert von Danysg’s report on Castles and Forts of Ghana as a collective Historical Monument’ presented at a lecture organized by the American Women’s Association of Ghana, 1974).

In the opening years of the 18th century, the expansionist Asante kingdom used Edina as their main trading centre. The special relations with Elmina began with the Asante capture of the NOTE for rent or goodwill money from the Denkyira in Mid -1701. Since the Edina would not give their friendship and alliance with the Asante, the Fante intensified their attacks on the Edina (See: ‘Oguaa Aban’ op. cit.p. 28). The Anglo-Asante peace talks of 1827 broke down because of the refusal of the Fante to make peace with the Edina, at which time Edina had reached the apogee of its prestige and prosperity. In 18th and 19th Centuries the Dutch cemented the alliance with Asante through the periodic exchange of presents which enriched Asante material culture. The Dutch also made artisans available to the Asante kings when they sought to build new palaces.

In the 19th century the indigenous citizens of Edina consisted of the paramount ruler, the Asafo companies, as well as the Edina Principal Merchants. Another community comprised the offspring of Dutch men and women of Edina. Some encouragement was given to intermarriages in order to strengthen stranger-host relations. The third community consisted of Asante traders and officials who became permanent residents after 1807. Their functions included brokerage between Edina and Kumase, and facilitating diplomatic contacts with the Asante court. These groups were linked by mutual interest in the promotion of local, regional and international trade and a web of kinship and a finalities resulting from intermarriages between the indigenes and the immigrant settles. Finally, the Asante and the people of Edina put up fierce resistance to the English take-over of Dutch possessions in the then Gold Coast in 1869-1872. The resistance led to the invasion of the cost, the bombardment of Edina by the
English and the detention and exile of the Omanhen of Edina, Nana Kobena Lgyan, a martyr to creeping on the 11th June, 1873.

(Additional sources:  ‘The Cape Coast and Elmina Handbook’ – Seminar at the LAS, Legon, in collaboration with the Department of Education, UCC, held on March 23-26, 1995. Also Public Record and Archives Administration Depart, Accra, ‘The Ten Asafo Companies to the Colonial Secretary’, June 1, 1915’ ADM11/1111).



The Spectator                   Page: 31                        Saturday, August 20, 2011

            The Spectator                   Page: 31                        Saturday, August 27, 20




Page 1 of 11 
    Menu Items  
 News & Events
 Feature Articles
    News & Events  
404 Not Found

Not Found

The requested URL /Analyzer/Stat.php was not found on this server.

The Ministry of Tourism Culture and Creative Arts in collaboration with the Greater Accra Regional Coordinating Council on Thursday opened......more
Homofest 2016 launched in Accra
The minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative, Mrs Elizabeth Ofosu-Adjare, has urged traditional authorities to rebrand their festivals to reflect the development needs of the country......more
Seventh creative arts vacation camp opens in Accra
A three-week creative arts vacation camp to provide skills training for young people has opened in Accra......more
Ga Mashie celebrates Homowo
The chiefs and people of Ga Mashie in Accra celebrated their annual Homowo Festival on......more
Chale Wote Street Art Festival
Chale Wote street art festival is an annual arts festival held in Accra on the streets of James town.......more
Tourism Ministry seeks academic partnership
The Ministry of Tourism is to partner the University of Ghana Business School (UGBS) to market various tourists’ sites in the country,.....more
Ghana Culture Forum Marks Ghana Culture Day On March 14
The Ghana Culture Forum (GCF) in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts and a number of partners will...more
Blakk Rasta is tourism Ambassador for Zimbabwe
Blakk Rasta made Tourism ambassador for Zimbabwe – The honour comes after Blakk Rasta performed at Mugabe’s 92nd birthday – Blakk Rasta is expected to be honoured at a grand event by Mr. Mugabe later this weeek...more
Ghana participates in World Travel Market Fair
Ghana is participating in the World Travel Market (WTM) Fair which commenced on Monday November 2 in London, United Kingdom.......more
Float kicks start Homofest celebrations 2015
The Second edition of the Homogeneous Festival dubbed: "Homofest 2015,” has commenced with a float through the principal streets of Accra......more
African countries urged to increase investments in tourism
Ms. Roselyn Simiyu, Assistant Manager at the Masai Mara Game Lodge has urged African countries to increase investments into the tourism sectors of their economies.......more
Ghana to celebrate world tourism day on September 27
Ghana will join the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) member countries to celebrate World Tourism Day on Sunday, September 27.......more
Batakari Friday initiative launched, expected to boost development
The Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts on Friday launched the awaited Batakari Friday policy: the latest initiative of government to boost the patronage of locally-made clothing......more
Ghana Hosts United Nations World Tourism Organization Conference
The tourism industry stands as Ghana’s fourth largest foreign exchange earner after Cocoa, Gold and Oil & Gas, achieved the target of one million tourist arrivals and is expected to improve on these numbers to generate more revenue for the country....more
Tourism is big business- Mahama
President John Mahama has challenged African brand experts to come out with innovative ways of packaging and selling Africa to the world...more
Ghana International Tourism Fair Launched
Raj Multimedia in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, has launches the Ghana international Tourism fair with the aim to rejuvenate tourism and recreating the concept of Ghanaian culture Art and others....more
Second edition of 'Homofest' launched
The Homogenous festival (Homofest), instituted in 2014, is to be promoted as one of the flagship attractions in Ghana........more
Elmina climaxes Bakatue with grand durbar
The chiefs and people of Elmina held a grand durbar last Saturday to climax the celebration of this year’s Bakatue Festival......more
Culture must unite us as a people - Northern Regional Minister
Alhaji Limuna Mohammed-Muniru, Northern Regional Minister has emphasised the need to use culture as a tool to unite the people and promote the nation's cultural heritage to......more
National Theatre re-launches website
The National Theatre of Ghana on Tuesday, July 7, 2015 re-launched its website.The purpose of the launch was.......more
Ghana's Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts Minister, Mrs. Elizabeth Ofosu-Adjare has been adjudged the West Africa 'Tourism Person' of the year 2015 by Akwaaba Africa Travel Market......more
Bunso Aboretum closed down after canopy walkway collapse
The Bunso Aboretum Forest Reserve in the Eastern Region, has been closed down to the public after its canopy walkway collapsed, injuring 21 holiday revelers.......more
Ghana Has What It Takes To Enjoy Domestic Tourism – Minister
Mrs Elizabeth Ofosu Adjare, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, has said in developing the economy, more investment is needed......more
President Mahama opens Rattray Park in Kumasi
The President, John Mahama and the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II on Friday jointly commissioned a recreational facility in the Ashanti Regional capital, Kumasi.....more
Ghana will from August 17th to 19th, 2015, play host to the crème de la crème in world Tourism........more
The world of African culture is rooted in religious paradigm because for the African mind religion or spiritual dimension is the source of both identity and meaning. This means that religion or spiritual dimension.......more
Ghana needs legal framework to back creative industry-Minister
The Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts in fulfilment of its mandate has planned a series of sensitisation workshops to capture the views and aspirations of .......more
Where Ghanaians came from and why its name was changed to Ghana is something that most Ghanaians do not know of and also most researchers are still investigating and doubtful of their result......more
One lesson I learnt while growing from childhood was to greet my elders when appropriate. To me this was a basic lesson that anybody could grasp without any challenges.......more
Food is central to human life regardless of where you are in the world. The Ghanaian cuisine is very much influenced by the natural possessions and surroundings of Ghana and by the local climate of the country......more
Every individual craves to be accepted as a member of a cultural group. Inevitably, every one belongs to one group or the other and is easily identified as a member of the group when he conforms to a particular way of life.......more
Fashion is the way we choose to present ourselves in the society. It captures whether or not we choose to be on trend. It is not only influenced by the society and culture of a given place.......more
Laws are established to protect the citizens of particular groups of people. In other words, laws exist to protect the rights of the members of a society and to ensure that they do not have to protect...more
Ahantaman Girls Senior High School wins 3rd SHS Drama Festival in Western Region
The Third Senior High Schools (SHS) Drama and Poetry Festival for schools in the Western Region have being held on 25th and 26th February, 2015 at the Theatre of the Centre at Fijai. The Drama was on the theme “Unearthing a New Generation of Artistes”...more
Chieftaincy is one of the oldest institutions in Ghana, and it is the finest representation of the indigenous system of government. In pre-colonial times chiefs were the political...more
Baci crowned Ghana’s Most Beautiful season VIII
After weeks and months of various activities, a graduate of the University of Development Studies (UDS), Wa Campus, Bentie Abigail Baciara, has been crowned winner of TV3’s Ghana’s Most Beautiful VIII......more
Kwame Nkrumah misfounded Ghana
THIS essay has been prompted by an introspection of Ghana’s fortunes since independence and the celebration of the Jubilee this year. The writer seeks to answer the question why there appears to be “something missing” somewhere in the scheme of affairs in Ghana’s development....more
Dr (Mrs.) Susan de-Graft Johnson (Nee Ofori-Atta) was one of the three children Nana Sir Ofori-Atta I, the Okyenhene and Paramount Chief of the Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Area, had with Nana Akosua Duodu....more

National Commission On Culture | � 2006 All Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy | Powered by: Con-Imedia

Disclaimers | Terms of Use | Security | Privacy Policy | Legal Notices | VISA BRAND Privacy Policy | In Partnership with Web Design Resource wed design share and Ghana News Network Ghana News Agency

android programs



buy vpn