Eight Akan Clans
The Clan System
The Idea of the Family
Introduction The Akan is the most numerous ethnic group in Ghana. The Akan constitute almost 50% of the population of Ghana (Labi, 2009). They occupy about two thirds of the territory of the country. It is also important to note that the Akan people have preserved their major traditions and beliefs. They also have social stratification of their ancestors. The Akan people are divided into eight matrilineal clans (Nkansa-Kyeremateng, 1996).
Each clan has certain characteristics and has a specific totem. These characteristic features affect social, political and economic spheres of the Akan people. It is important to understand peculiarities of each clan to have a better understanding of the life in Ghana. The present paper focuses on the Akan clan system. In this paper, I consider major peculiarities of the eight clans and analyze the impact this social structure has on the present life of the Akan people.
Eight Akan Clans As has been mentioned above, there are eight Akan clans. All these clans have their totem which can be regarded as something more than a spiritual symbol. The Akan people see their totem as a kind of ancestor. Thus, members of the clan inherit traits of their totem animal. Thus, the totem is a part of their history and a symbolic representation of their identity.
Thus, the Aduana group is one of the clans. This group arrived in Ghana in 1500. They believe their ancestors brought fire to people. Hence, their totem is a dog with fire in its mouth (Nkansa-Kyeremateng, 1996). Aduana contemporary states are Akwamu, Asumegya and Kumawu.
The Agona group arrived in Ghana in the middle of the 16th century. These people believe their ancestors were refugees from Mande. This group’s totem is the parrot. These people are believed to be good at trade. Their modern states are Akyem, Bosome, Dankyira and Kotoku.
The Asakyuiri group is not numerous. They believe their king Asare Nyansa “brought all kinds of craftsmen (weavers, carvers, smiths and embroiderers)” and let his people learn the crafts (Nkansa-Kyeremateng, 1996, p. 30). Their totem is the vulture. The modern Asakyuiri state is Akrokerri.
The Asenie people believe their ancestors “emerged” out of the earth (Nkansa-Kyeremateng, 1996, p. 31). Their totem is the bat. There is no modern state of this group. However, Asenie people always note their background and are proud to be a part of this clan.
Get your 100% original paper on any topic done in as little as 3 hours Learn More The Asona people’s totem is the crow. They believe their ancestors came with the Asakyuiri group and settled in the area. The Asona clan founded a number of kingdoms. Though, there are no modern Asona states.
The Ayoko clan arrived in the region when Asare Mintem ruled. Their totem is the hawk. Their ancestors were warriors. They founded Ashanti Kingdom.
The Tena-Bretuo arrived from the north. Their totem is the leopard. Their ancestors were brave warriors and winners. The totem of this group symbolizes bravery and even aggressiveness of these people. The Tena-Bretuo modern states are Ashanti Mampong and Kwahu State.
The Ekuona people believe their ancestors came from some region behind Fulaniland. Their totem is the buffalo. This clan played a very important role in the trade with Europe.
The Clan System Clearly, each clan has certain history and distinctive features. Some clans are constituted by brave warriors and others include skillful craftsmen. Some clans are good at trading. However, there are features which unite all Akan people. Their attitude towards the concepts of the family and clan unites them. The Akan people believe that they originate from a common ancestor.
Thus, they think members of the clan have a strong bond (Labi, 2009). Moreover, the Akan people believe they can recognize a member of their clan even if the latter is a stranger and lived in another area (Akanba, 2010). They also think that members of the clan are relatives. This is why they do not marry a person, who is from their clan, but have to look for their partners in other clans.
The Idea of the Family It is also important to note that the idea of the clan is closely connected with the idea of the family. The Akan people believe that the family is the most important unit of the society (Nkansa-Kyeremateng, 1996). Importantly, cooperation within a family or between different families is very important for the Akan people. It is also important to add that younger generations respect older people and consult them in different cases.
We will write a custom Term Paper on The Akan Clan System specifically for you! Get your first paper with 15% OFF Learn More The closest family members are parents and siblings. However, extended families are very important for the Akan society. They rely on each other and they solve difficult issues together. Hence, it is possible to note that the members of the clan are ready to help each other as they see each other as members of a big family.
As has been mentioned above, the Akan people have a matrilineal system. Thus, the woman is the keeper of the family. If there is no woman in a family, the family disappears (Nkansa-Kyeremateng, 1996). At the same time, the father is the head of the family. He is responsible for providing for the family and protecting it. The father is the breadwinner in the family.
The Governance It is also necessary to note that Akan clans are governed by a chief. The chief is chosen among the best people of the clan. Remarkably, there is a specific tradition to choose a chief. The most respectable people of the clan gather and decide who is worth being the chief (Nkansa-Kyeremateng, 1996).
Moreover, the chief does not rule the clan by himself. The chief listens to some advice of the oldest and most respectable members of the clan. Hence, several members of the clan make the most important decisions together after a discussion. Again, viewpoints of older members of the clan are seen as the most valuable.
This collectivism is one of the most distinctive features of the Akan people. They are ready to cooperate and listen to different viewpoints. They are respectful and they try to preserve their traditions and beliefs. It is important to note that the Akan people honor their ancestors and are proud of their roots. They are also committed to their clans as well as families.
Conclusion On balance, it is necessary to note that there are eight clans in the Akan society. Each clan has certain history and distinctive features. However, they also have a lot in common. The Akan people believe that the family is the most important unit in the society. They are ready to help each other.
They also make important decisions together. Though each clan has a chief, he always takes into account viewpoints of other members of the clan. Thus, the Akan society is constituted by several clans which can be regarded as big and strong families.
References Akanba, M. (2010). Revelation: The movement of the Akan people from Kanaan to Ghana. Milton Keynes, UK: AuthorHouse.
Not sure if you can write a paper on The Akan Clan System by yourself? We can help you for only $16.05 $11/page Learn More Labi, K.A. (2009). Reading the intangible heritage in tangible Akan art. International Journal of Intangible Heritage, 4(1), 42-57.
Nkansa-Kyeremateng, K. (1996). The Akans of Ghana: Their history
Neuroanatomy and Neural Processes Expository Essay
Nursing Assignment Help Neuroanatomy and neural processes are directly linked to the learning and memory functions of the brain. According to brain science, learning capabilities cannot be separated from memory capabilities. The learning process works in tandem with the memory process. Moreover, the learning process is updated from time to time during the lifetime.
The neural process that is involved in learning is quite a complex process and various neurologists have been studying it for a long time. It is for this reason that the available knowledge on neural processes keeps changing as research progresses. This paper offers a description of neuroanatomy and the neural process that are related to learning and memory.
Both neuroanatomy and neural processes depend on the “chemical and electrical changes in the neuron synapse for learning and memory to transpire” (Wickens, 2010). The part of the neural system that is responsible for storing memory is the cortex. On the other hand, the hippocampus is the part of the neuroanatomy that differentiates between short and long term memories. The other aspect of the neuroanatomy that is pertinent to the learning process is the cerebellum.
The cerebellum helps in the acquisition of procedural memories and motor skills. The amygdale aids in the learning processes that involve transformation of short-term memories into long-term memories. In addition, the amygdale is responsible for the process that transforms emotions into memories. Another section of the neuroanatomy is the basal ganglia. This section aids subjects to acquire stimulus responses and problem-solving capabilities (Pinel, 2009).
The neural processes that help in the acquisition of new information are closely connected to the process that enables consolidation of information. In a study that was conducted to investigate the neural processes, it was found that synapses are greatly improved by the learning process (Wickens, 2010).
The study was conducted through the observation of the reverberation that occurs when the synapse changes the structural composition of neuron cell-assemblies. Neurologists suggest that long-term potentiation starts when glutamates are released from neurons “that cross the synaptic gap and bind to hippocampal receptors” (Newson