THE STORY OF ANYAN
KNOW THE ORIGIN OF TOWNS
By: KWAME MPENE
(Founder of the Guan Historical Society)
The Three main Traditional Areas of Anyan-Maim, Anyan—Denkyira and Ayan—Abaasa form an integral part of Ajumako—Enyan—Essiam District Assembly in the Central Region. They belong to the Borbor—Fante group whose traditional refer to ancestral migration from Brong Tekyiman (revered as the cradle of the people) to Kwaman where their legendary leaders, Oburumankoma, Odapagyan and Oson died, thence across the Pra and Offin rivers to the coastlands, Borbor or Bonbon means host of innumerable people.
According to this story, the Borbor — Fante moved together as a single unit during the long and tedious journey. On the way one section acquired the name ANYAN, meaning “the Wakers” because legend has it that their leader, Asankoma, had a fetish which crew like the cock soon after mid-night to wake up the entire congregation, urging them to resume the journey. And according to the laid down rules of the fetish, they were to travel with it during the night only till they reached Mankessim. That is the reason why they are called ANYAN (See, for example, “State Emblem of the Gold Coast” D-A Sutherland pp.31, 35).
The story adds that the remains of the three warlords were carried from Kwaman to Mankessim and interred in a nearby grove which became the famous, Nananom-Pow —the national shrine or Oracle of the Borbor-Fante, (Fynn J.K., 1974. “The pre-Borbor Fante States”
The leader of the Anyart section, Asankoma, was assisted by one Ameyaw and two other priests, Saah and Gyamire Kwao. The leader died at Kwaman and was succeeded by his nephew, Amuaku Bondam, who received the Akonfowa (Akofena or iron Sword with the wooden handle of about 18 inches in length as symbol of his chiefly office, and a symbol of state unity and greatness.
At Mankessim the Anyan section lived in one of the five separate quarters known as Bentsi.
Other quarters were Anaafo (Abora, Kwamankese, Abeadze,~ Anomabo), Edumadze
(Ekumfi)Nkusukum (founded the present-day state of Nkusukum)op.cit. J.K. Fynn.
The Borbor Fante settled at Mankessim a long time before they began to form new territorial states due to population explosion. Out of Bentsi was formed the three Anyan states whose ancestors were last to quit Mankessim which account for the fact that during the Annual Celebration of the Ahorba Festival the activities of the Anyan group seem to round off the festivities. From Mankessim the Anyan group settled at a place named Akotoagua which means “resting on Stool” situated a few kilometers west of Anyan—Maim on the bank of River Amissah—Oche.
After a sojourn they crossed that river and settled at ANYAN-MAIM, leaving behind some of the people at Akotuagua under the command of Osei Yaw. At Anyan-Main they established themselves in three separate quarters, viz, Adumadze, Assan and Andam. “Each quarter enjoyed absolute independent of the others, however, the most senior member was the headman of Adumadze quarters.
The aboriginal inhabitants on the land were the Etsi Guan people of Sunkwa under their leader
Okrampo. Other Etsi-Guan were Abowere, Abotadze, Abora Asuantsi, Eno Ekumfi Abaka and
Anapa, (now deserted). They were peace loving people who freely gave the Anyan immdgrants
lands to settle on without conflict.
Due to over-population the Anyan ancestors began to establish new settlements. The leader from the Andam quarters by name Aban made some maize farm and settled under the corn-ban which place became known as “Aban-san” hence the name ABAASA. This happened during the reign of the fifth ruler of Anyan, Nana Osei Ampem II, about the 1740s.
A few years later, there was a civil war between the inhabitants of Assan and Adumadze quarters during the reign of the sixth ruler, Nana Kwame Ampado and as a result the Assan split and founded the town of DENKYIRA, The Adumadze, however, remained at Anyan-Maim which became the nursery ground of Anyan ideas and institutions as Mankessim became the spiritual headquarters and real 1mb of the Borbor-Fante.
Andam quarters Aban founded ABAASA (TWIDAN FAMILY) Twafo.
Assan quarters Assan founded DENKYIRA (Abradze family) Adonten Adumadze quarters
Remained at ANYAN-MAIM (Asona Family) Nkyidom.
Remnants of the Denkyira and Abaasa at Anyan-Maim were known as Assanmba and Andamba respectively.
Traditions aver that during the reign of Nana Kobina Okwan I, the most senior chief of the Anyan communities, the Fante went to the Akaa war, 1848.
Since he was old and inform the ruler of Abaasa Nana Kwamin Akonu deputized for him and fought the Elmina for not giving up their friendship and alliance with the Asante. And in order to strengthen his authority, he handed over the iron Sword to the Twafohin to lead the Anyan contingent.
After the war Nana Kwamin Akonu continued to keep the sword on account of his able and successful leadership, and it has since remained at the Stool house of Anyan Abaasa. He was awarded Queen Victoria of Great Britain Jubilee Medal in 1852 (ibd Sutherland p.3 1)
In 1900, each of the three Anyan States became independent (with the Etsi of Sunkwa becoming part of Anyan Denkyira). Here ends an account of gradual transition from a fairly mobile society to static statehood.
The Spectator Page: 31 Saturday, October16, 2010