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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.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Drive a snowmobile around frozen Lake Akan no cameras allowed so make sure to give your phone to a friend who doesn't take blurry photos.
It is also derived from the Akan aphorism "Abode santann yi firi tete; obi rite ase a cnim n'ahy Ease, na obi ntena ase nkosi n'awieeE, Gye Nyame," which literally translates as "This great panorama of creation dates back to time immemorial; no one lives who saw its beginning and no one will live to see its end, except God." (48) The symbol reflects the omnipotence and the omniscience of God.
Penjualan pakaian rajutnya meningkat dan akan meningkatkan stabilitas pendapatan.
Appah (forthcoming) has shown that three of the five types of exocentric compounds posited by Bauer (2008, 2010) are attested in Akan. They are bahuvrihi, exocentric synthetic and transpositional exocentric compounds.
During his time abroad, Akan continued to give strategic advice to Yemeksepeti and in 2011, he returned to his full- time position as CFO.
Based on her research findings MacLean attempts to answer these questions by challenging "previous assumptions about institutions, social capital, and the nature of the African state" by pointing out that since the Akan villages on both sides of the border consider themselves as one and the same people, "diverse histories of colonial and postcolonial state formation" have shaped the puzzling differences in the informal institutions of social reciprocity and citizenship at the local-level (p.7).
The Akan people live predominantly in the countries of Ghana and the Ivory Coast.
Punishment that hurts HOW heartily I agree with Mr Akan Hardaker (secretary, Football League), when he says the general lack of discipline is due to the idea of 'free expression'.
Freidel said his hypothesis was confirmed when his team of archaeologists found a figurine of the blue Moon Akan, a Maya death god that was held in special reverence by the civilization's kings.
Yemeksepeti.com was established in 2001 by its current CEO Nevzat AydA[+ or -]n, CIO Melih Odemis, CFO Gokhan Akan and Cem Nufusi.
Yemeksepeti.com was established in 2001 by its current CEO Nevzat Ayd?n, CIO Melih Odemis, CFO Gokhan Akan and Cem Nufusi.