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about this district
cultural heritage and customs

Religion, Chieftaincy and Inheritance
People in the district believe in the Supreme God. The district is made up of Christians, Muslims and Traditional worshipers.
Chieftaincy is an institution practised by the people. Chiefs sit on stools, so they are enstooled or destooled. Apart from a handful of migrant farmers and other settlers who observe patrilineal inheritance, the rest of the people practise matrilineal system of inheritance.

Traditional Set up
There are two (2) paramountcies in the district. These are Kumawu and Asokore. The Paramount chief is the head of the traditional area and is known as the "Omanhene". The implementation of the laws on customs, taboos and setting of moral behaviour are combined in him. Under the Omanhene are divisional chiefs. These are wing or sub-chiefs that assist the paramount chief in the performance of his duties. These sub-chiefs are the Kontihene, (chiefs deputy) Akwamuhene, Adontehene, Nifahene, Benkumhene, Kyidomhene, Gyaasehene and Sanaahene. In some cases Nsumakwaahene and Nkosuohene also exist in the traditional set-up.

Town/Village Chiefs
In the district, they are the leaders of the various clans, lineages and family (Abusuapanin). They help the Town/Village chief in performing his duties. They settle family disputes and are the custodians of family lands and properties.
The Queen Mother
This is another important office next to the chief. Her authority is mainly limited to women. She wields greater power over the chief who is her son. She nominates a candidate to occupy the stool, and is considered the mother of all the people in the traditional area.

The chief has many attendants who include, the linguist, who is the spokesman for the chief, drummers, horn blowers, umbrella carriers, sword bearers, court criers, gun bearers, executioners and others.

Ethnic Diversity
In terms of ethnicity the district is quite homogenous, particularly in the southern part where the indigenous people (the Ashantis) and other Twi speaking Akan group who are the majority co-exist with the few Northern tribal groups such as the Dagabaas, Kotokolis, Fulanis and others. In the northern (Afram Plains) portion of the district the Akan land owners co-exist with the predominant migrant farmers of northern descent such as the Moshies, Konkonbas and the Krachies as well as fishermen who are mostly Ewes and Gas.

The indigenous people (Ashantis) constitute 70.6 percent of the population in the district, tribes from the North 27 percent, Ewes and Gas 2.1 percent and non Ghanaians 0.3 (See table 1.9).

Traditional Knowledge
The traditional knowledge of the people in the district is revealed through myths, proverbs, names, sayings, arts, songs, poems and stories.

Myths, Proverbs and Names
Myths are sacred stories of the people which explain the mysteries surrounding their ceremonies, festivals, origin of things like death, creation and historical truths. Proverbs are short witty sayings which express truths and moral lessons. Names are identifiable marks of the people which humanize children. The names have meanings and appellations are attached to particular names.

Sayings and Art
Sayings of the people in the district are expressions or maxims which expose much of traditional knowledge. Experienced old people come out with compositions which give expressions to what are deep within them and actually control their actions. People in the district use artistic symbols to tell a lot about their traditional knowledge. These artistic symbols are silent informants or communicators of the way of life of the people. These artistic symbols include the linguist staff, Akuaba doll and others.

Poems and Stories
During ceremonies, people in the district come out with poems to tell a lot about their traditional knowledge. These poems, for example throw challenge to people to be serious in life. Through stories the people grow in the knowledge of the beliefs of their communities.

Attitude and Practices
Some attitudes and cultural practices in the district include these;

The people pour libation to the gods during ceremonies to appreciate the good things they have done or to pacify them for the wrong done.

Beliefs in the potency of demons, witches and gods
Majority of the people in the district believe in the potency of demons, witches and gods. This belief helps in social control as the people tend to conform to the norms of society so as to avoid misfortunes or curses from these spirits.

Ancestral Worship
The belief of the people in ancestral worship is based on the fact that the ancestors are in a new world and are closer to God. They believe that the ancestors watch over the lives of the living and are the custodians of majority. They also believe that the ancestors can bless as well as bring calamities, depending on circumstances. Chieftaincy, which portrays much of the cultural heritage of the people hinges on ancestral worship, because the chief is said to serve as a link between society and the ancestors.

Marriage Ceremony
This is performed by the people to bring a man and a woman together as husband and wife. The bridegroom and his family present the bride price to the bride and her family. Marriage provides a socially acceptable means by which young ones are born to replenish the family and society.

Naming Ceremony
The people normally perform naming ceremony on the 8th day after the delivery of the baby in order to welcome the newly born baby into the world. The name identifies the baby and gives him/her a sense of belonging.

Funerals are common ceremonies among the people in the district. They are usually organized on Saturdays in connection with the earthly departure of a person as a way of bidding him their farewell.

Moral and Social Values
Moral and Social Values are upheld by the people in the district. These values include godliness, respect, hospitality, service, gratitude, loyalty, tolerance, freedom and responsibilities, truth, integrity, honesty, dedication, patriotism and others.

Good Manners
One gets, particularly the young ones, to know how to conduct oneself as the one learns to greet people, help the aged, go on errands for older people, not being quarrelsome or abusive and appreciating cleanliness. As a result, juvenile immorality is severely punished.

The people’s participation in all the activities relating to their beliefs and cultural heritage has been on a positive note. Participation in activities like naming, marriage, burial, funerals, festivals and others is considered as a social responsibility that should not be frowned upon.

Positive Cultural Practices Necessary to Promote Development in the District
The district has great cultural and historical heritage in terms of festivals that can be developed for both domestic and international tourism to help promote development.  Prominent tourism among such festivals are the "Papa Nantwi" Festival in Kumawu and the Odwira Festival in Effiduase. During these Festivals people from all walks of life in Ghana and outside the country troop to Kumawu to witness the famous Papa Nantwi Festival.

Ethnic Conflicts and Chieftaincy Disputes likely to hamper development
There have been pockets of chieftaincy disputes at Kumawu and Effiduase. These protracted chieftaincy disputes have hampered development in these two major towns. Currently however, everything seems to be normal.

Implications for development
  • The people in the district have rich culture that can be tapped to enhance development of the district.
  • The Traditional Authorities (the chiefs and the elders) should be brought on board in the development agenda of the Assembly.
For tables refer to pdf file attached.

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