Abusua is the name in Akan culture for a group of people that share common maternal ancestry governed by seven major ancient female abosom (deities). The Abusua line is considered to be passed through the mother’s blood (mogya). There are several Abusua that transcends the different ethnic subgroups outside of the ancient seven. People of the same Abusua share a common ancestor somewhere within their bloodline, which may go back as far as thousands of years. It is a taboo to marry someone from the same Abusua. The different Abusua is the Agona (parrot), the Aduana (dog), the Asenie (bat), the Asakyiri (vulture), the Asona (crow), the Bretuo (leopard), the Ekuona (bull) and the Oyoko (hawk).
Abusua Ahoduo (Family Types)
Agona or Anona
People of the Agona are predominant in Denkyira and therefore in Asante, Nkawie. The symbol of the Agona is the parrot. When greeted by a person from the Agona or Anona, the reply should be “Yaa ago nana”. Some towns of the Agona are Tafo, Bodwesango, Fumesua, , Edwumako Techiman, Dunkwa, Asienimpon, Trede Ahwaa, Akyem Apedwa,
Aduana believes that at the time of creation, their ancestors descended from the skies on a golden chain. Others believe that they originally came from Asumanya and they were led by a duiker with a flame in his mouth and gold in his cheeks. They proceeded to Dormaa where they believe the flame is still kept alight. Still, others believe that from Asumanya a section of the Aduana headed for Akwamu . Some of the principal towns of the Aduana are Dormaa and most of the Bono people, Akwamu and Twifo Heman. In Asante a principal towns for the Aduana are Kumawu, Asumanya, Kwaman, Boaman, Agogo , Apromaase, Akyem Apapam, Tikurom, Kaase, Apagya, Bompata
, Kwaso, Akyease,Manso Agroyesum, Manso-Mmem, Manso-Abodom, and Nyinahen. The symbol of the Aduana is the dog.
The symbol of the Asenie is the bat and its main towns are Kumasi Amakom and Dompoase. When greeted by a person from the Asenie, the reply should be “Yaa adu nana”. Other towns of the Asenie are Antoa, Nkoranza, Wenchi, Atwoma, Kofiase, Abira, Baman, Denyase and Boanim. In Adansi Dompoase, members of the Asenie family are the crowned royals of the land and their leaders possesses special leadership skills endowed by their great ancestors.
Asakyiri claim that they were the first to be created by God. They are to be found in the Adanse area and their main towns are Akorokyere (Akrokere), Asakyiri Amansie, Ayaase and Asokore. When greeted by a person from the Asakyiri, the reply should be “Yaa Ofori nana”. Other towns of the Asakyiri are Abofuo, Aduanede, Abrenkese, and Apeadu.
The symbol of the Asona is the crow or wild boar. It is said that more people generally, belong to the Asona than to any other abusua. The principal towns are Adansi Akrofuom, Kyebi, Edweso and Offinso. When greeted by a member of the Asona, the reply should be ‘Yaa Ofori nana’. Other towns of the Asona are Akyem Begoro, Akyem Asiakwa, New Juaben, Akyem Wenchi, Kukurantumi, Akyem Tafo, Akuapem-Akropong, Akuapem Amanokrom, Akyem Kwarbeng, Ejura, Feyiase, Manso-Nkwanta, Bonwire, Atwima-Agogo, Abrakaso, Trabuom, Beposo, Toase, and Odumase. The head of all Asona towns is Adansi Akrofuom.
Bretuo are found mainly inAdansi Ayaase,Mampong, Adankranya, Amoafo, Asiwa, and Afigyaase/ Effiduase . Its symbol is the leopard. It is worth noting that the commander of the Asante army against Denkyira was the Mamponhene and in the past, generally, matters relating to war in Asante was the domain of the Mamponhene. When greeted by a person from the Bretuo, the reply should be “Yaa etwie nana”.Towns of the Bretuo are Jamase,Apaa, Domeabra,Agogo-Hwidiem, Adankranya,Suhum-Kwahyia, Asiwa (capital of Bosome Freho District) and Abuotem.
Ekuona are not found in great numbers in Asante. They are mainly found among the Fante but in Asante, their main town is Adanse Fomena. The symbol of the Ekuona is the buffalo. When greeted, the reply should be “Yaa Doku nana”. Other towns of the family are Banko, Mprim, Kona, Asokore-Mampon, Berekum , Kokofu-Abuoso, Adumasa, Heman, Abenkyem, Cape Coast, Jukwaa,and Duayaw-Nkwanta.
The falcon/hawk is the symbol of the Oyoko . It is also the family from which the Asantehene comes. Its main towns are Kokofu, Kumasi, Dwaben and Nsuta. When greeted, the reply should be “Yaa Obiri nana”. Other towns are Bekwae, Mamponten, Bogyae, Dadieso, Obogu, Asaaman Adubiase, Pampaso, Kontanase, Kenyase, and
Ntonso In the western region, the symbol of the Oyoko clan is rat. Some people call it ‘Ekusi ebusua’ therefore a member of this clan is termed as “Ekusifo” in some part in the western region.
- Asante, Molefi, African Intellectual Heritage, 1996
- Gyekye, Kwame, An essay on African philosophical thought: the Akan conceptual scheme, 1995