The origin of the Akan

According to E. Meyerowitz, the origin of Akan were descendants of Dia Where Za, from Berbers from Libya and the Gara, who were settled in the Tibesti region. Around the 11th century, they would have emigrated towards the South, under the pressure of the Tuareg, themselves repelled by the Arabs during the conquest of North Africa. These first ancestors first settled in the loop of the Niger, where they made stock and mingled with the native Negroes. However, after the Islamization of the Berbers, the first nucleus of the Akan group once again had to go into exile even further south, among the Grusi.

The origin story of the Akan is as follows:

origin of the akan

The origin of the Akan

For Baumann and Westermann, the civilization of these peoples was imposed on them by groups of a dominant race with matriarchy from the North who conquered this part of the coast; These conquerors were visibly related, in the first line, to the matriarchate dynasties of the great Sudanese states, and in the second line, to the Libyco-Berbers (matriarchy) of North Africa.

Let us note in passing that Meyerowitz and Baumann do not give the reasons which make them say that the Akan are descended from the Berbers Dia and Za. For J. Ki-Zerbo: "Around the year 500, says another legend, Berber princes or Arabs or Yemen would have arrived on the banks of the bend of the Niger and they would have rid the local residents (Sorko fishermen and Gabibi peasants) of the terror of a fetish fish, which the Sorko fishermen used to extort substantial offerings to their fellow farmers, the Gabibi.

These clans seem to have gone up from the Dendi downstream of the Niger, where they had baptized the two western and eastern banks, respectively the Gourma and the Hausa; they would originally be part of the surroundings of Chad… Given the thinness of this external contribution, three characters according to the legend of Yemen, some groups of traders, according to Al-Bakri, had to be assimilated quickly by the Songhai ".

The opinion of Meyerowitz and Baumann is based on the fact that populations of Berber origin, knowing the matriarchy, would have descended to the South; And as the Akan know a more or less similar kinship regime, these authors did not, for a single moment, fail to assert that these pure negroes were descendants of the Berbers.

This conclusion is debatable insofar as it relates on the one hand only to a single fact, and on the other hand matrilineality is not the kinship regime of the Akan alone; Indeed, outside the forest region, populations of the Ivorian savannah (Djimini, Tagwana, Koulango and Lobi) know this system of filiation. Further in Central Africa, the large Bacongo (Bantou) family is also matrilineal, as are smaller human groups.

History and sociology teach that if animist populations easily change religion, lifestyle and name, it is not the same for Christian and Muslim communities. Nowhere in West Africa is the presence of long-standing Islamized populations (Berbers, Tuaregs and Moors) reported purely and simply to animism.

The populations of Peul origin integrated into the Negro communities of Mauritania, Senegal, Mali, Guinea, Niger and Burkina Faso have kept their language, their names and their religion. Twi, the language of the Akan, is different from the Semitic languages of North Africa; The vast majority of Akan populations and their leaders are still animists.

The Akan people, until proven otherwise, are not the product of any racial interbreeding, unlike the Fulani, Tuaregs and Moors. The opinion of the Akan, as to their origin, remains different from the versions mentioned above; their oral tradition does not mention anywhere that these people are descended from populations of the white race. They recognize, however, that their ancestors came from the north, from a region or country called Agniwan-gniwan. Many localities bear this name both in Ghana and in the Ivory Coast ... Others believe that if these localities bear this name, it is in memory of the country of origin located further in time and in the space.

The Akan admit having experienced many displacements in West Africa. We do not know when the first Akan settled in the Gulf of Guinea, but we know for sure that the mining researchers of SODEMI of Abidjan have discovered, in the lagoon regions of the Ivory Coast. , non-pygmoid human remains associated with gold art objects of Akan origin. These archaeological elements were sent to Sweden, to Upsala, to be studied: carbon 14 revealed that certain human elements were several centuries before our era (around -1200) which shows that the Akan ethnic groups therefore already existed in Côte-d 'Ivory 2000 years ago.