The ASAKYIRI CLAN (VULTURE)
The Asakyiri Abusua or family are also referred to as Amoakaadefuo. This is the oldest family among the 8 Akan families or clans. It can be classified as the mother of all the Akan families. Unfortunately, this family is relatively small in their numbers.
Yei ne Abusua no nyinaa mu piesie. Ɛno ne Abusua akyɛ sene abusua biara nanso emu nnipa nonnɔɔso.
Some historians say the name might mean that initially the Asakyiri people were in their numbers and very prosperous until the main family members decided to move on to establish their towns and territories, those who decided to stay behind later became Asakyirifuo. This, they believe might be the reason for the name and also the reason why they are so small in number.
Others also narrate that the name Asakyiri came about when a vulture (Kɔkɔsakyi/pɛtɛ) was seen eating a corpse in a bush. This was reported to Nana Oforiwaa who is believed to be the mother of the Asakyiri family, when the old woman heard the news she said “Deɛ aboa pɛtɛ ayɛ yi ‘asɛ yɛ kyiri’, to wit ‘what the vulture has done is forbidden’. She therefore ordered them to go and bury the remains. As time goes on the statement ‘asɛ yɛ kyiri’ corrupted to the word ‘Asakyiri’.
As the oldest family among the Akan families, the Asakyiri people founded the Adanse State of Akrokyere, one of the notable and historic towns in Ghana. They lived there until the beginning of the 17th century when some of them migrated to places like Asakyiri (Amansie), Aberankese-Nyame Ani, Nzema and Wassa.
According to T.C McCaskie, Akrokyere is the oldest, largest and was the most developed amongst all the traditional states of Adanse, and it’s evidenced in the ancient heritage buildings and remains sprung up in the town.
Asakyiri Piesie ne Asare Yankyimadu a ofiri Adanse Akorokyerɛ, wɔn Manu ne Assin Fosuhene, na wɔn Mɛnsa nso ne Ayigyahene Fredua. Asakyiri Nuabaa ne Pɔne, Aburi titire na wɔte saa din yi.
Their totem is the Vulture (Kɔkɔsakyi/Pɛtɛ) and the Eagle (Ɔkɔdeɛ).
Kɔkɔsakyi Ampomah, anomaa ɔkɔdeɛ brasiam adu, Ofoonana (Oforiwaa Nana) odi adwene tɔ, Asakyiri a ɛdan si dan mu.
Their symbolic qualities are calmness, patience and hard work. They are warriors, no wonder the eagle is also their totem.
Asakyirifoɔ kura ahoɔfɛ, wɔnim nyansa paa. Wɔkyerɛ mu a Asakyirifoɔ nim adesie ankasa, wɔnsɛe sika basabasa wei ma wɔtaa kasɛ Asakyirifoɔ yɛ pɛpɛɛ. It is believed that it is through them that the word “Sika” (money) came about. Wɔtumi de adeɛ Sie yie ma no Ka. Enti Sie-Ka, Sie-Ka ɛna yɛbɛnya ‘Sika’.
They don’t have the numbers, but they are worthy people because they are very hardworking. They believe in communal work (Nnɔboa). Wɔmo mpɛ boseabɔ. Wɔnim nsiesie yie paa (fair in judgement). Wei ma Asakyirifoɔ pɛ atɛn tenenee, wɔmpɛ asisie. Wɔboa wɔn ho sie wɔ biribiara wɔbɛyɛ mu na wɔmpɛ aseda wɔ wɔn adɔyɛ akyi. Afei Nananom Asakyirifuo ɛnyɛ animuonyampɛ.
It is claimed that the Asona and Asakyiri clans are brothers and sisters. Therefore, they mostly used to be referred to as Asona ne Asakyiri in Twi meaning Asona and Asakyiri.
If an Asakyiri greets you the response is “Yaa Ofonana”, Yaa Amoakaade Nana” “Yaa odi adwene tɔ”.
Here are some of the few Asante states and towns that are occupied by the members of Asakyiri today:
Akorokyere, Ayigya-Kumasi, Asakyiri – Amansie, Abrenkese-Nyame-Anihene, Abofuo, Apeadu, Boberease (Adanse), Kusa (Adanse), Odumase (Adanse) Afeduase-Adukro, Nkenkaasu, Offinso Anou etc
References to my works on the eight clans;
Akanfuo Amammere (Comprehensive Notes on Oral Literature, Customs and Institutions) by Akwasi Agyeman Prempeh.
An Outline of Asante History (Volume 2) by Osei Kwadwo.
Mr Yaw Afreh
Aprebi Waves (Youtube).
Credit: Asante Nation Facebook page