THE STORY OF ASAMAN AND
KNOW THE ORIGINS OF TOWNS
(Founder of the Guan Historical Society)
ASAMAN, an early Akan Settlement about seven kilometres from Asante Kokofu, was founded by Nana ADOMAKO ANSAH WHO HAILED FROM Adwafo near Kuntenase. At Adwafo, his uncle Nana Amisare, was the chief of the town and a prominent member of the Ekuona clan. It is noteworthy that the discovery of the site on which Asaman was later built was contemporaneous with the occupation of Asantemanso by the ancestors of Oyoko and Aduana clans.
It is, however, important to note that Asaman was not occupied until the Ekuona clan members at Adwafo was in a state of explosion and the friction continued until the senior clan members decided to disperse.
Nana Adomako Ansah founded Asaman, Nana Amisare left for Aboase near Kokofu; while others went to Yaa- Ase near Kuntenase, and Fomena in Adanse.
The real cause of the conflict is not adequately explained by our informant. Adwafo’s period of greatness ended. Nana Adomako Asare had settled in Asaman when the present town was uninhabited. In excitement he exclaimed: ‘’Me Asare, manya me man’’ to wit: ‘’I, Asare, have acquired my own state’’ which expression became corrupted into ASAMAN.
During the reign of Nana Adomako Ansah III, Osei Tutu was brought from Akwamu along the coast to be installed king of Asante.
He was succeeded by Nana Akora Gyimah at Asaman whose reign, Lake Bosomtwe was discovered by one of his subjects called Akora Bompe- a celebrated hunter. The discovery took place during the reign of Asantehene Nana Opoku Ware I. The often told legend of Lake Bosomtwe’s origin relates that Akora Bompe shot an antelope (‘’Otwe’’) which escaped and was later traced to the lake side. In his attempt to seize the antelope, he noticed to his dismay a large shoal of fish of very bright colour, and concluded that the antelope may be a god of the lake hence the lake was named BOSOMTWE i.e. ‘’antelope, the patron spirit’’.
The tradition further asserts that on one occasion, Akora Bompe was surprised to meet two other hunters by the lake side- one from Kuntenase, and the other from Omanso (which was settled by Akyem Bosome under Nana Ntow Korko). As each of the three hunters claimed priority of discovery, a heated augment ensued and they hurriedly return to inform their respective chiefs. The chiefs involved were Onansohene Ntow Korko, Asamanhene Akora Gyimah and Kuntenasehene (unnamed). Asamanhene waged war on all fronts simultaneously, and in the end he came out victorious. It was for that reason that he was surnamed ‘’Gyimah the conqueror’’.
Since Lake Bosomtwe is well noted for the abundant supply of ‘’apatere’’- a specie of river fish, the controversy was often referred to as The –War- of –The –Fish, and Asamanhene has since been the sole caretaker of Lake Bosomtwe.
I cannot resist saying something about the origin of Lake Bosomtwe without concluding. Permit me to quote verbatim a Geologist, Professor A.F. J Smith: ‘’One of the theorist for the origin of this large circular crater – like structure in the Birrimian rocks says that, it was caused by the impact of a huge meteorite impact. Lake Bosomtwe is not the only one of such crater- like scars in the world that raised the question whether it was the result of volcanic activity or meteorite impact.
It was Dr. Jenner, the former Director of the then Gold Coast Geological Survey, who put forward what seemed to be the most forceful argument for a volcanic origin. He particularly pointed to the obviously young glassy breccias that, in several places, can be seen resting on the Precambrian rocks around the lake. These breccias are much the same as similar deposits produced is known as volcanic activity.
The absence of young lava flows, in his view, is an indication that the crater was produced by one or more violent volcanic gas explosions, involving little or no lava outflow. Coesite and stishovite have been found in the glassy volcanic breccias around the lake this would mean that these rocks are not volcanic ones. Meteorite impact proponents are satisfied that the depression was formed by a large meteorite which, according to radiometric datings carried out the glassy breccias hit the earth about one to 1.5 million years ago. However, without evidence from elsewhere in West Africa, this date should be treated with caution.
I hope that I have not been too technical in this story of Asaman and Lake Bosomtwe’s origins. However, I have tried to give readers a bird’s eye view of what are the present thoughts about their origins.
2. c/f: Prof. A.F.J. Smit. “The Origin of Lake Bosomtwe and some other problematic structures” Ghana Journal of Science 2, No.2 p.176 -196, 1962.
THE SPECTATOR Page: 31 Saturday, December 29, 2012