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(əkän`, äk`ən), people of W Africa, primarily in Ghana, where they number over 7.5 million, Côte d'Ivoire, and Togo. They speak languages of the Twi branch of the Kwa subfamily. Although patrilineal descent is recognized, matrilineal descent is more important; social organization is built around the clan. The AshantiAshanti
or Asante
, historic and modern administrative region, central Ghana, W Africa. The region is the source of much of Ghana's cocoa. It is inhabited by the Ashanti, a matrilineal Akan people who constitute one of Ghana's major ethnic groups. Before the 13th cent.
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 and the FantiFanti
, black African ethnic group, S Ghana, living around Cape Coast and Elmina, one of the Akan peoples. The Fanti speak a Twi language, which is part of the Kwa group of the Niger-Congo branch of the Niger-Kordofanian linguistic family (see under African languages); they
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, both of Akan stock, developed powerful confederacies and kingdoms in the 17th and 18th cent.



a group of related peoples of southern and central Ghana and the southeastern parts of the Ivory Coast, totaling nearly 4.8 million people (1967 estimate), including over 3 million in Ghana, where they form the nucleus for the unifying nation. The Akan languages belong to the Kwa group. On the basis of linguistic similarity, the Akan form the following groups: the Ashanti, Fanti, Akim, Akwapim, and Kwaya; the Agni and related Nzima, Sefwi, Ahanta, and Baule; and the Gonja or Guang, Krachi, Nawuri, and Abrong.

After World War II, a movement to create a single literary language began. Most of the population (77 percent in 1961) adheres to local, traditional religions (ancestor worship, polytheistic religions); the rest are Christians (Protestants and Catholics). The Akan peoples reached a high level of social and cultural development long before the Europeans came. A strong centralized state—Ashanti—existed among them in the 18th–19th centuries. From the early 20th century until 1957, the territory inhabited by the Akans was under British and French rule. Ghana—previously the Gold Coast, a British colony—was granted independence in 1957 and the Ivory Coast—previously a French colony—in 1960. The main occupation of the Akan peoples is tropical farming; the cultivation of cacao is important.


Potekhin, I. I. “Novoe afrikanskoe gosudarstvo—Gana.” Sovetskaia etnografiia, 1957, no. 2.


References in periodicals archive ?
The Akan have twelve patrilineal divisions; each family starts with Bosom, which literally means deity (each family has its own deity).
Participating designers are selected through a curatorial process and include Lebanese furniture designer Nada Debs, Persian designers Nina Seirafi and Mir Mola Soraya, and Turkish designers Erdem Akan, Ilanit Ovadya, Yasemin Sayinsoy & Gamze Araz Eskinazi of Camekan Glassworks, and Erin Turkoglu & Melodi Bozkurt of Muzz Design Studio.
The strength(s) of the book lies in its methodology, it is thoroughly researched, well written, and solidly grounded in the lived experiences of the Akan on both sides of the Ghana--Cote d'Ivoire border.
God's name is mentioned or implied in many constantly used phrases in the Akan language.
For instance, his articles include "The Akan Concept of Mind" (1983), "The Concept of Truth in the Akan Language" (1985), "An Akan Perspective on Human Rights" (1990), "The African Concept of Personhood" (1992) amongst others.
identify, interpret and discuss the symmetry, angles and geometric stylization used by Taymor and the Akan and Ashanti people when selecting aspects of animals to emphasize and abstract.
Given this evidence, therefore, this essay analyzes the formation of an Akan community in colonial New York City.
For analytical purposes, the numerous ethnic groups in Cote d'Ivoire can be classified into five linguistic families: Akan (42.
Best bases are Akan Kohan spa on Lake Akan and Kawayu spa near Lake Kussharo.
ySTANBUL (CyHAN)- Famous Turkish actor Taryk Akan said, "Sentenced due to the reporting of a secret wrong action, which was made by the state, has never seen in the world before.
The Akan people constitute the largest ethnic group in Ghana, West Africa.