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Akans and their Various Abusua

Written by Baafuor Ossei-Akoto

The various Akan families are the root of all Akans. On migration the people were living together as one Abusua or family. This family is often wrongly referred to as Nton, which is something completely different.The family or Abusua is matrilineal and each Akan belongs to one of them. Every Akan whose mother is an Akan belongs to one of these Abusua, and it is along these lines that inheritance is determined with regard to Akan stools or family properties.

On creating a stool, if not stated that the stool is for the children of the first occupant, the inheritance is automatically matrilineal.When Otumfuo Opoku Ware ll created the Nkosuo Stool of Kumase, he categorically said it was for the first occupant and his children and so the inheritance is patrilineal or Nton.
According oral tradition it is believed that the families Asona, Ekuona and Aduana are the oldest among the eight Akan families.

I will talk about the Aduana (Atwea, Abrade, Amoakare ne Ada) Abusua or family. These people are believed to have been led out of the ground by a dog which had fire in his mouth. Hence they are referred to as Ogyaasefuo. This has also become one of the accolades of the Dormaahene who is also from the Aduana family.

It is also believed that the first Aduana had a dog that once was out to search for food and on seeing fire the dog thought there was something to eat for him and in doing so got his mouth seriously burnt.

When the owner saw it coming with the fire he then said , “m’atwea woabre me adie- meaning my dog you have brought me something worthy. This gave birth to the name of the Aduana people Aduana Atwea Aberade. Another accolade- “Aduana Nyankonpa Sakyire!!!

Some hundred years ago people from different tribes could even claim a stool from another tribe if they were from the same Clan.That means an Aduana from Akwamu could go to Kumawu and could be given the stool if it becomes vacant.

The totem or symbol of Aduana is the dog and fire. It is believed that their Patriach was Nana Bomaa Kusi of Wam. Although Akwamu was there before Wam this has become the general belief and this has been accepted.

Their symbolic qualities are honesty and industriousness. If someone from the Aduana Clans greets you the response is, “Yaa Aberade or yaa ogyaba.The Aduana is beside Asona the largest family among Akans.