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Promoting Harmony Through Knowledge and Better Understanding
Volume 1 - Issue 4 - 1992
List of issues >> List of articles in this issue

Dormaa-Man 3

by Nana Gyamfi-Kumanini- Nana Gyamfi-Kumanini immigrated to Canada in 1971 from Ghana, and completed the book in 1989 during his studentship at Wilfred Laurier University..

Volume 1 - Issue 4 - 1992
First made available online: 12/07/2008

DORMAA - MAN : STATE - DISTRICT PART THREE Nana Gyamfi-Kumanini immigrated to Canada in 1971 from Ghana, and completed the book in 1989 during his studentship at Wilfred Laurier University.

Subsequently, the Mansins moved to Aburaso but maintained their association with the Akwamus. The Akwamus outnumbered the Mansins; besides, they had a male leader who could mobilize them in case of war. It was therefore negotiated that the leader of the Akwamus should lead the two groups, assisted by the female leader of the Mansins. Trouble arose between the Akwamus (Atta Panin's followers) and the Ashantis, and with the support of the Mansins they defeated the Ashantis and kept the skull of the Asantehene Obiri Yeboa, which is still at Dormaa Ahenkura. Osei Tutu, who succeeded Obiri Yeboa sought revenge for the earlier defeat and even though the Ashantis were driven back seven times, they finally won the battle because their enemies (Akwamus-Mansins) ran out of gun- powder. As the Ashantis controlled the road to Cape Coast, Nana Adikowam,, the then chief of the Mansins, had been sent to the present day Ivory coast to buy some gun-powder, but before he could return the Ashantis had won the battle. Legend also suggests that the two groups were unable to combat the Ashantis because a woman revealed the antidote of their war juju to Okomfo Anokye, who succeeded in weakening the power. The Ashantis captured Nana Kyereme Sikafo then chief of the Akwamus group and sent him to the palace of the Asantehene and made him the bearer of Busumuru and thus became the Okradwareni (the soul purifier of the Asantehene).

The Akwamu group scattered as a result of this defeat. Some of them fled to the Huans, but others stayed behind to watch the graves of their ancestors. It was the timid ones who fled and came to be called "Gya wo man fo" as that was the first time any of the Akwamus had retreated in a battle. Thus it was referred to as "the first flight" Gya wo man (Gyama) Kan. When the war ceased, the Asantehene promised not to harass the people again and even encouraged the scattered ones to come back.

One of the first tasks of Nana Kyereme Sikafo, the captive Busumuru bearer for the Ashantis, was to go to Bahore to cast a spell on the people so as to weaken them for easy conquest. It was rumoured that the Queen of Bahore was very rich and so the Asantehene wanted to conquer her and thus gain her wealth. Abenaa Poko, the Queen, being clever, discovered the Asantehene's tricks, and in order to prevent a war sent loads of gold dust through Nana Kyereme Sikafo and his company to the Asantehene. When Nana Sikafo was returning to Kumasi, a couple of his scattered band saw him. He convinced them to go back to his people and ask them to meet at their former place. A group of them went with him to a place where his own son, Kyereme Gyana, and some of the remaining Akwamus were camping. As more people followed them, the place was called Boa wo man ano "gather or mobilize your people", which became Bomaa. Those who came to Bomaa were said to have had love for their clan, for they responded to 'love your clan and come back', the message Nana Kyereme Sikafo sent to them; and were then Dormaafo "those who love their clan" after they returned.

Nana Kyereme Sikafo sent Kyereme Gyana and Oheneba Darebo, the then chief of Tepa to Asantehene with the gold and with a message: he was trying to bring his people back home , but they were afraid to stay near the Ashantis. The Asantehene swore that nobody from those groups (Dormaafo and Mansinfo) would be tortured in Kumasi and pledged that even if anyone from the two groups cut himself in Kumasi or anywhere in Ashanti, any Ashanti being near should dress the wound, for no blood of a member of the two groups should be shed on Ashanti land. However, they were to promise to be his people forever.

Meanwhile the leader, Nana Adikowam and his Ma mensen people at this time were at Neonsome where a message was sent to him by Nana Kyereme Sikafo. His reply was that they would come after their corn was harvested. But before the harvest was over, Nana Adikowam passed away and Nana Daako took charge of the Ma mensen people. He also joined his ancestors after a short reign and was succeeded by Nana Tutu Baffour who led the Mansin people from Nsonsome to join the Dowoman people at Bomaa. The Dowoman people at Bomaa had by this time established another settlement called Mmaaban (women's own settlement), now called Maban.

At Bomaa a two-storeyed house was built for the chief which was called Aban - a mansion. The chief had a drum called 'Aprede' which was played every night and people went to enjoy it. So the people of the time would say they were going to enjoy the 'aprede' at the mansion: ye reko aban aprede ase; which nearly became the town's name. Thus originated Abanprede ase, the present name of the Dormaahene's 40,000 palace. to be continued .....

This article was originally published in Cross Cultures Magazine in Volume 1 - Issue 4 - 1992. Unauthorized copying, distribution or other usage without express written permission of the publisher is prohibited.

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