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BORBOR FANTSE- MANKESSIM

MANKESSIM'S HISTORY

HISTORICAL ACCOUNTS:

              Mankessim is the traditional headquarters of the Fantse communities in Ghana.There are about two accounts about its migrational history. One account links Mankessim's history to the Ashanti kingdom and the other is about its independence and southwards migration to the present location.

              In the first account,Oral tradition has it that the Fantse were originally part of the great Ashanti kingdom when it extended as far as to Bono- Manso in the present Brong ahafo region.  The people seceded from the union and moved further south  from (Bono- Manso-present day Techiman in Brong Ahafo region) in search of fertile land for its growing population, good drinking water and to live in peace. "FANTSE" comes from two akan words "FA and ATSEW" meaning the half that seceded.                                                                It is said that the Fantse undertook great migration downsouth under three powerful leaders namely OBRUMANKOMA, ODAPAGYAN AND OSONO. Those three leaders were very strong and spiritually fortified. It is said that their names, signifies their might in the air, by land and under the sea. Proverbially and culturally, these leaders were seen as symbol of invincibility by the early Fantse communities. 
            
     The other gives account of  the Fantse leaders leading their people to their present abode and helping to organize the community into a very strong one till the coming of the colonial powers and christian missionaries who manipulated and indoctrinated some of the chiefs and local leaders leading to the total collapse of the great Fantse Confederacy in 1885.

Today, Mankessim has monuments that are a living testimony to their rich history. The Obromu asafo company has the most centrally located and the main shrine that commemorates the history of Mankessim.

GEOGRAPHY :



Geographically,there are five suburbs in Mankessim made of original OMAM MU states namely TWAFO (Akapon), OBROM ( Kuyinpa) and ANAFO  and two adjacent suburbs ie NKUSUKUM (ebir) and EDUMADZE(Borbor Kunkunfi).
 
ASAFO COMPANIES AS SECURITY AGENTS:
 
Each of these suburbs has with its Asafo Company, a form of militia units that served  as security organisations during the times of frequent warfare. These companies exist today as emergency groups and provide music and dance for festivals and other occasions: They also act as check and balances on the role of the chief in the community.
 
MUSIC MAKING ROLE OF THE ASAFO COMPANY:
 
Asafo music and dancing is performed during the passing away of a member,when a new chief is outdoored,when there is an emergency and during festival times known as AKWAMBO and AYERYE.



INFORMATION: COURTESY OF SPACE FM SOUNDS, MANKESSIM.
(c)2003.
 
these three statues are very important to the Fantse community. they are the three great warriors. OBRUMANKOMA, ODAPAGYAN and OSONO.
the front view of the great obromu posuban( shrine) that houses the ammunitions and drums and all other equipment that is associated with the asafo company. every image(statue has its religious and historical significance).
a statue at one of the numerous asafo shrines at mankessim. the man is holding a scale. the significance is that the warrior group weighs all his enemies before confronting them.
the drummer (odomakoma okyerema) is an important individual in the Fantse tradition. he is highly respected in the community. He spends many years understudying master percussionist and they command a lot of traditional wisdom that they play on their drums.
'odomakoma bo adze, obo eben adze? obo okyerema
kwaanan a oye kurantsir amanfo n'dehye e" okyerema kasa kasa kasa.
good drinking water was one important factor for the settlement at MANKESSIM. after the great dog EKU tasted the
stream which later became known as EKU ASO(it lies between mankessim Dr. bensah and Krofu village. the people later found AMINSA OKYI (river aminsa). the community's akwambo has a history that is linked to this river.
The people of Mankessim had a religious belief that they were invincible during those war times. in this picture is a figure on top of the ghana's coat of arms which is a monster with four heads looking at all corners. It has wings, and has a a bow. The local proverb associated with it says"
ebetu anaa,ebeye ra" translated it means...
"will you fly or vanish when faced with us? 
proverbs that was characteristic of the tense and warlike atmosphere at the time.  yes, it is a warning to potential enemies then.
the community value the importance of sharing its rich heritage with visitors especially tourists. the man who does all the explanation on the shrine is MR. JOHN FRANCIS BAIDEN. he poses for the camera. visitors always remember him for his wealth of knowledge.
"ponko abo da maa no wura dze onnbo dam bi" lit: if the horse is crazy and is going beserk,it does not make the one sitting on it to also become mad"  traditional wisdom at its best.
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