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Abusua is the name in Akan culture for a group of people that share a common maternal ancestor. The Abusua line is considered to be passed through the mother's blood(Mogya). There are several Abusua which transcend the different ethnic subgroups. People of the same Abusua share a common ancestor somewhere within their bloodline which may go back as far as 1000 years. It is a taboo to marry someone from the same Abusua. The different Abusua are the Agona (Parrot), the Aduana (Dog), the Asenie (Bat), the Asakyiri (Vulture), the Asona (Crow), the Bretuo (Leopard), the Ekuona (Bull) and the Oyoko (Hawk).
People of the Agona are predominant in Denkyira and therefore in Asante, Nkawie. The symbol of the Agona is the parrot. When greeted by a person from the Agona, the reply should be “Yaa ago nana”. Some towns of the Agona are Tafo, Bodwesango, Fomesua, Asienimpon, Trede Ahwaa, Akyem Apedwa, Ampabame.
Aduana believe that at the time of creation, their ancestors descended from the skies on a golden chain. Others believe that they originally came from Asumanya and they were led by a duiker with a flame in his mouth and gold in his cheeks. They proceeded to Dormaa where they believe the flame is still kept alight. Still others believe that from Asumanya a section of the Aduana headed for Akwamu. Some of the principal towns of the Aduana are Dormaa, Akwamu and Twifo Heman. In Asante a principal towns for the Aduana are Kumawu, Asumanya, Kwaman, Boaman, Agogo, Apromaase, Akyem Apapam,Tikurom, Kaase, Apagya, Bompata, Kwaso, Akyease, Takyiman, Nsuatre, Drobo, Manso-Mmem, Manso-Abodom, and Nyinahen. The symbol of the Aduana is the dog.
The symbol of the Asenie is the bat and its main towns are Kumasi Amakom and Dompoase. When greeted by a person from the Asenie, the reply should be “Yaa adu nana”. Other towns of the Asenie are Antoa, Agona, Nkoranza, Wenchi, Atwoma, Kofiase, Abira, Baman, Denyase and Boanim.
Asakyiri claim that they were the first to be created by God. They are to be found in the Adanse area and their main towns are Akorokyere (Akrokere), Asakyiri Amansie, Ayaase and Asokore. When greeted by a person from the Asakyiri, the reply should be “Yaa Ofori nana”. Other towns of the Asakyiri are Abofuo, Aduanede, Abrenkese, and Apeadu.
The symbol of the Asona is the crow or wild boar. It is said that more people generally, belong to the Asona than to any other abusua. The principal towns are Kyebi, Edweso and Offinso. When greeted by a member of the Asona, the reply should be “Yaa Ofori nana”. Other towns of the Asona are Akyem Begoro, New Juaben, Akyem Wenchi, Kukurantumi, Akyem Tafo, Akuapem Akropong, Akuapem Amanokrom, Akyem Kwarbeng, Ejura, Feyiase, Manso-Nkwanta, Bonwire, Atwima-Agogo, Abrakaso, Taabuom, Beposo, Toase, and Odumase.
Bretuo are found mainly in Mampon, Amoafo, and Afigyaase/Effiduase. Its symbol is the leopard. It is worth noting that the commander of the Asante army against Denkyira was the Mamponhene and in the past, generally, matters relating to war in Asante was the domain of the Mamponhene. When greeted by a person from the Bretuo, the reply should be “Yaa etwie nana”. Towns of the Bretuo are Jamase, Apaa, Domeabra, Agogo-Hwidiem, Adankranya, and Abuotem.
Ekuona are not found in great numbers in Asante. They are mainly found among the Fante but in Asante, their main town is Adanse Fomena. The symbol of the Ekuona is the buffalo. When greeted, the reply should be “Yaa Doku nana”. Other towns of the family are Banko, Kona, Asokore-Mampon, Brekum, Kokofu-Abuoso, Adumasa, Heman, Abenkyem, and Duayaw-Nkwanta.
The falcon/hawk is the symbol of the Oyoko. It is also the family from which the Asantehene comes. Queen Nanny of the Jamaican Maroon also came from this tribe. During the slave trade in 1600s Nanny and her brothers Captains Kujo, Akampong,Johnny,Quaco and Captain Kofi, became the leaders of the slave rebellion in Jamaica they are now called the Maroons. Its main towns are Kumasi, Dwaben and Nsuta. When greeted, the reply should be “Yaa Obiri nana”. Other towns are Kokofu, Bekwae, Mamponten, Bogyae, Dadieso, Obogu, Asaaman Adubiase, Pampaso, Kontanase, Kenyase, and Ntonso.
Asante Molefi; African Intellectual Heritage 1996
Gyekye Kwame; An essay on African philosophical thought: the Akan conceptual scheme 1995
- Changing Funeral Celebrations in Asanteman. books.google.com.