Besease whose name literally means ‘under (ase) the cola tree (bese) is situated on the outskirts of Kumasi, the capital of the Ashanti Region of Ghana. The village is just after the town of Ejisu, which is home to both the District Assembly and the paramount chief, the Ejisuhene. Besease is famous as the home town of Yaa Asantewaa the queen mother of Ejisu who led the fight against the British in 1900, Nana Diko Pim I, Akwasi Afranie Brother of Yaa Asatewaah and Nana Kwasi Boadu who was “her main representative in the army is Kwasi Boadu, chief of Besease near Ejisu.” according to the Basel missionary letters.
The Ejisu Traditional Area consists of a number of towns and villages. These towns and villages were all founded by the branch of the Asona clan that founded Asotwe, Ejisu and Bonwire. Members of the Asona clan are said to have first settled at the present site of Besease, a town 13 miles south of Kumasi on the Kumasi-Accra road. .. A second source also claims the Asona migrated from Kyebi Ahwenease and later moved to settle at Besease. So no matter how you view it, each version of the story confirms Besease as the place where members of the Asona clan settled before spreading out to settle at different locations.
Aboagye Agyei, the founder of Ejisu with his people from Apenkra are said to have come to meet the Asona group who founded Asotwe at Besease. Upon their arrival, the leader of the Asona group of Asotwe by name Sarfo Kantanka told Aboagye Agyei, (the leader of the group that had just arrived) to go and establish their settlement at the place where ‘he breaks his palm nuts’ literally translated in twi as ‘ɔbɔ na adwe’. Their settlement near Besease became known as ‘Adwe- so’ because it was established in a place full of palm nuts. This was later corrupted to ‘Ejisu’ ..”
The royal family of Ejisu comes from Besease, which therefore is home not only to the Beseasehene (who serves the Ejisuhene as his Akwamuhene and Baamuhene sub-chief) and his Kontihene subchief but also to three other sub-chiefs of the Ejisuhene: Kontihene, Kyidomhene and Gyaasehene. The term ‘chief’ can be confusing as it is used to describe various levels of traditional leaders. The Ejisuhene, a paramount chief; the Beseasehene, a village chief; and a range of subchiefs of the paramount chief or the Beseasehene.
All are referred to by the term ‘chief’. The titles of sub-chiefs are not based on the names of their residence, as we saw for the Beseasehene and the Ejisuhene, but on their function. They either refer to the sub-chiefs’ original position in the chief’s army for example, the Kyidomhene is the leader of the rear flank (akyi: back, behind) or their administrative function in the locality: the Baamuhene, for instance, takes care of the royal cemetery (baamu: mausoleum). Sub-chiefs function as the chiefs’ councilors. The councilors of lower chiefs are called elders. Four of the five residing chiefs ‘own’ land in Besease, with the fifth owning’ land in Ejisu.