'Sawua-Tomuoho Oyoko Abusua': An Ethnohistoriographic Journey in Search of Lineage Roots in Asante, Ghana
The Asante are a culturally dominant ethnic group in Ghana who have been studied extensively by Africanist historians and anthropologists and, thus, contributed diverse insights for a better understanding of the humanities. As people their social organization is founded on the twin pillars of matrilineal descent and lineage-structured networks that define individual and group identities, loyalties, rights and obligations, as well as access to resources especially ascribed status such as chiefships. The focus of this presentation is the Oyoko Abusua of Sawua-Tomuoho, a branch of the chieftaincy line of the Amoako and Saakodie Throne that serves the King of Asante. Drawing on privileged knowledge acquired as elder member of the Abusua (lineage) and information gathered through years of ethnohistoriographic studies as academic I present case study findings from this "localized" situation that have wider ramifications for understanding aspects of the "dirty politics" which fuel the incessant chieftaincy conflicts that have become a bane to development not only in Asante but throughout Ghana. Lessons from similar research can add onto available data and inform practical policy making to enhance theory formulation in culture and development studies in the humanities to benefit societies in Africa that seek to utilize their rich cultural heritages to ensure a better quality of life for their people.
Keywords: Abusua, Asante, Ghana, Africa, Ethnohistory, Culture and Development
Prof. Kofi Akwabi-Ameyaw
Professor, Department of Anthropology & Geography, California State University-Stanislaus