ADINKRA EPISTLES: THE ASONA CLAN OF AKANS

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In today’s episode of the Adinkra Epistles, we shall look at the Asona clan of the Akans. The article would focus on their origin, migration,totem, appellations and qualities.

The Asona clan is said to be the mother of all clans since it’s the biggest. It has more members than any of the Akan clans.

Totem

The totem of the Asona clan is the crow. Some members of the Asona clan in the Bono regions use the elephant as it’s symbol. The reason why some members use the elephant would be explained later in this piece of writing.
In chapter 6, page 273 of his book “”le royaune Asante ” Pescheux asserts that the first known Asona woman had a pot full of gold, one day, as she went to retrieve her gold, she found a huge red snake coiled around the pot. Not knowing what to do, a crow came from nowhere and whisked the snake away giving Ano Boadi the opportunity to retrieve her gold. This singular act of brevity by the crow earned it the enviable position as the totem of the Asona Clan. There’s another version of the story which states that the members of the Asona clan were led out of a cave protected by an elephant. This is why some members of the clan especially in the Bono regions use the elephant as its totem.

Origin

The origin of the Asona clan can be traced as far as the old Ghana empire. According to a rrserach by Eva Meyeriwotz, the members of the Asona clan are really the descendants of the soninke, mande people who migrated from the old Ghana empire. These Asona people established the once-powerful Kumbu kingdom on the ivory coast and subsequently migrated to Fomase Akyekyere and Adanse Akrofuom.
It was from there that they were led out of a cave by a snake and protected by an elephant to their various destinations.
So the origin of the Asona clan goes beyond Adanse Akrofuom as postulated by Asante’s oral history. The Asante oral history usually targets its Asante audience. This is why they assert that Asantehene is the oyoko piesie when indeed the oyoko piesie is Techiman. Techiman was a well-established kingdom ruled by the Oyoko clan as far back as AD 1215. We shall look at this when we treat the oyoko clan.

Taboo
It’s taboo for a member of the Asona clan to set eyes on the Asona wɔ ( The Asona snake ). When an Asona member sees this snake, it’s a sign of bad omen. Some also interpret it to mean the impending death of a member of the Asona clan.
In Anthony Ephraim Donkors book” African spirituality ” the story is told again about how Asonaba Ano Boadie went to retrieve her pot of gold and found a red snake coiled around it. She was admonished by her brothers to abandon the gold since the snake was a poisonous one. Ano Boadie insisted on retrieving the gold even to the peril of his life. She would rather die than leave her children in poverty. Indeed she retrieved the gold but couldn’t survive the poisonous venom of the snake bite.
So this snake became a sign of bad omen for the Asona clan.
In fact, the spectacular brevity of Ano Boadie earned the Asona clan an appellation ” Yɛ mpre kwa” meaning we don’t hustle in vain.

                       STOOLS

The notable Asona stools in Ghana are
Mankesim
Abakranpa
Akyem Abuakwa
Ejisu
Offinso
Gommoa Brofo

Some Asankrangwa stools which belong to the Asona clan include:
1. The Ahenemahene stool
2. The Oda Ahwianm stool

                        Qualities
It’s said that members of this clan are very pretty. Their hindheads would qualify for someone’s face.
They are indeed pretty.
They are also very industrious and unrelenting in their quest to succeed.

Response to greetings

The response to a greeting from an Asona member is Yaa Ofori Nana

Appellations

They are the many
Multitudinous legions!
The lineage of heaven’s god
The white-crested raven
That says nothing disturbs him
Or else he would not be
Arrayed in white
Mourning his deceased mother
Asona! Horde Irrepressible!
Multitudinous legions!
The clan is indestructible!
Legions who never desert their cities
Before who no battalions stand

Asonafoɔ yɛ mpre kwa

 

 

Story by Papa Arhin

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