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Fanti(făn`tē, fän`–), 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 languagesAfrican languages,
geographic rather than linguistic classification of languages spoken on the African continent. Historically the term refers to the languages of sub-Saharan Africa, which do not belong to a single family, but are divided among several distinct linguistic stocks.
..... Click the link for more information. ); they number around 500,000. Inheritance and succession to public office are determined mostly by matrilineal descent. According to their oral traditions, the Fanti arrived in their present habitat from the north by the 17th cent. They served as middlemen in the commerce between the interior and British and Dutch traders on the coast. In the early 18th cent. the Fanti formed a confederation, primarily as a means of protection against AshantiAshanti
, 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.
..... Click the link for more information. incursions from the interior. Several Fanti-Ashanti wars followed. The Fanti were aided by the British, who, however, destroyed the strong Fanti confederation established between 1868 and 1872, believing it a threat to their hegemony on the coast. In 1874 a joint Fanti-British army defeated the Ashanti, and in the same year the Fanti became part of the British Gold Coast colony.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.
one of the Akan peoples in Ghana.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.