Drawing of an Agni man, 1892.
|Regions with significant populations|
|Akan religion, Christianity|
The Anyi people are a subgroup of the Akan, originally from Ghana, who fled from the Ashanti subgroup to their current location in present-day Ivory Coast between the 16th and 18th centuries. They established the Kingdoms of Indene, Sanwi, and Moronou.
Today the Anyis live mainly in the area once known as the Kingdoms of Sanwi and Indene. They also inhabit Zanzan in Ivory Coast and there are small populations in Ghana.
The Akan people generally operate under a monarchial system which is also true for the Anyi. Before France colonized the regions inhabited by the Anyi there were three castes: nobility, freemen, and slaves. Today there is usually a local headman, who is directed by a council of elders and who represents his constituency in regional politics. Like other Akan peoples, the Anyi have a highly stratified society that includes a hierarchical political administration with titled officials who proudly display their rank and power. The Anyi are a matrilineal people, and women have relatively high social status exhibited in both the political and economic arenas.
The Anyi live in loose neighborhoods of family housing complexes which are generally spread apart. Funerary images and monuments are the preferred forms of art of the Anyi. A family often displays its affluence through the decadence of its memorials as greater beauty is thought to indicate greater respect to those being memoralized.
To marry a suitor must provide three things: O-Bla-kale : financial assistance for education maintenance of the bride Adyia-tila : to purchase the trousseau Be-ti-sika : binds the girl and her parents
Adultery is frowned upon and at one time people would be banished from villages due to it and even put to death.
The Anyi follow a traditional belief Akan religion and also Islam and Christianity. In the traditional belief Akan religion living one's life so that one will be remembered and respected as an ancestor is a primary motivations. Their religious system is based upon the continued honoring of one's departed ancestors. When a person passes away an elaborate ceremony follows, involving ritual washing, dressing the deceased in fine garments and gold jewelry to be laid in state for up to three days, and a mourning period that allows the family and community to show their respect for the departed in order to guarantee a welcome into the spirit world.
Anyi operate primarily under an agricultural economy which revolves around banana and taro production. Yams are also an important staple crop. Many locally grown crops were introduced from the Americas during the Atlantic slave trade. These include maize, manioc, peppers, peanuts, tomatoes, squash, and sweet potatoes. Farm animals include sheep, goats, chickens, and dogs. Markets which are primarily run by women take place every four days and are the center of the local economy. Local produce and craft items are sold alongside imported goods. Palm oil is sold as a commodity on the international market.Forestry work is also practiced by the Anyi.
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