The Hwidiem State Book

The Book, which was launched on 29th September, 2017 in Hwidiem became the 4th State Book to be produced by Ghana State Book Project in collaboration with the Hwidiem Traditional Council. The book contains histories of the Paramountcy, the divisional families, the sub-royal families, the affiliate royal families, service stools, Adikrofo, etc.

The book also contains histories of towns and villages in the Hwidiem Traditional Area, churches, schools, the Muslim Community and important personalities one has to know in Hwidiem.

Section of the Book also captures Family Tree which are used to determined lines of succession of the various royal families in the Hwidiem Traditional Area.

Hwidiem State, as it is popularly known, is one of the traditional States of the Asanté Kingdom whose chief, the Hwidiemhene, pays direct allegiance to the Asantehene, the King of Asante. After the establishment of the Hwidiem State in the mid 18TH Century, Asantehene otumfuo Opoku Wari I gave out the land after the Abirim Moro War.

The seat of governance of Hwidiemhene is Hwidiem and serves the Golden Stool “Abendwa'' of the Asante Kingdom through participation in the Asanteman Council meetings and other engagements, as may be directed by the overload, the Asantehene.

Just like any other paramount chief in the Asante Kingdom, the authority of Hwidieman as a paramountcy and its chief as a paramount chief or Omanhene is derived from the Golden Stool of the Asante Kingdom and that of the Asantehene. In view of the aforementioned, every Hwidiemhene, when enstooled must swear the oath of allegiance to the Asantehene.

Hwidiem traditional State shares boundary at the South with Kenyasi No.1 and 2, Acherensua to the west and with Mmem at the north. All the Hwidiem lands are held in trust for the Asantehene by the Omanhene of Hwidiem. In terms of political boundary, Hwidiem State is located in the Asutifi South District in the Brong Ahafo Region of Ghana with over Thirty (30) towns and villages.

This Book (Hwidiem State Book) was written and launched during the reign of Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the King of the Asante Kingdom and Osuodumgya Barima Appiadwa Boafo, Hwidiemhene. It is incontrovertible to mention that Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Asantehene, through his numerous developmental initiatives, has contributed immensely towards the rapid growth of the Hwidiem State.

Hwidiem Traditional Area is considered as one of the Subject States of Ashanti Kingdom with its establishment traced to the mid 18th century. Oral historical account suggests that the first settlers on the land traced their root of migration to Dankyira Ntomu. The descendants of these settlers currently formed the Appia Dwaa Asona royal family that occupies the paramount stool of Hwidiem.

Nana Kwaku Appia-Dwaa and her sister, Okomfour Yaa Amankwaa, were part of the entourage that migrated from Denkyira to seek refuge in Kumasi. There are conflicting oral traditions of Hwidiem history with regard to the period the migration took place in Denkyira. Whereas some are of the view that the migration might have taken place before the Asante-Denkyira war that occurred in the early 18th century others believe that the migration could have possibly occurred after the Asante Denkyira War.

There are various historical connections to the belief that the migration of Nana Kwaku Appia-Dwaa's entourage might have occurred in the mid-18th century. Denkyira became a precarious habitat for settlement, after the Asantes defeated the unconquerable Denkyira State in the early 18th century. Around the 1720's there was a rumor which suggested to the Denkyira people that the Asantes would return to invade the place again. This falsehood left a huge burden on the minds of Denkyira people around that period. As a result of this phony story, some families and groups decided to migrate to seek refuge in Kumasi and other places. There was a massive exodus in 1923 and subsequently others followed until the 1740s when the migration took a diminishing trend.

It is strongly believed that the migration of Nana Appia-Dwaa's entourage might have occurred in the 1730s. During their migration, Nana Appia-Dwaa and her sister, Okomfour Amankwaa, who were Asona by Clan got settled in Bantama under the acquiescence of the Bantamahene at the time. It is not too clear who was Bantamahene at the time but some oral historical account suggested that it was Nana Amankwaa Tia.

The Bantama chief at the time called Nana Amankwa Tia led them to Manhyia to pay homage to the then Asantehene Otumfuo Opoku Ware I. Nana Appia-Dwaa and his sister, Okomfour Yaa Amankwaa, got settled in Hwidiem after the war of Ebirim Moro of the Sefwis. After the death of Asantehene Opemsuo Osei Tutu I in 1717 the Asantes waged a war against the Akyems. When Otumfuo Opoku Ware I was enthroned on the Golden stool he introduced the great Oath of Asante and vowed to revenge on their enemies. During the reign of Nana Owusu Akyem Tenten as a chief of the Akyems, the Guans and the Dawus approached him for assistance to help drive the Akwamus out of their territories. Nana Owusu Akyem Tenten therefore deployed a section of his army to free the Guans and the Dawus from the hands of the Akwamus.

The Akwamus subsequently called upon the Asantes for help, and this was coincidentally a nice opportunity for the Asantes since they had already decided to obliterate the Akyem State. Otumfuo Opoku Ware who had become more powerful after destroying Bono and Dagomba Kingdoms in the 1720's and subsequently invaded Gonja in 1732 further decided to avenge his predecessor's death on the Akyems. It was believed that upon sensing a possibility of war with the Asantes, the Akyems extended their invitation of help to the Sefwis. In 1742, the Asantes led by Otumfuo Opoku Ware invaded Akyem Abuakwa and Kotoku. Whilst the Asantes were on the war front in Akyem the Sefwis led by Ebirim Moro attacked Kumasi and destroyed things and killed the then Queenmother of Asante, Nana Nyarko Kusi Amoa. The Sefwis were at the time occupying the land between Tano and the Bia. Upon hearing this sad news about the invasion in Kumasi, the Asantehene who was then at the war front quickly dispatched Bantamahene Nana Amankwaa Tia, together with other people, who pursued the Ebirim Moro and his people until they were found and defeated. The Foundation of Hwidiem

History has it that Nana Appiadwa, the founder of Hwidiem who was then staying with Bantamahene at the time participated courageously in the Sefwi War. Nana Appia-Dwaa was a hunter and gallant warrior. After the defeat of Sefwi people the land located between Tano and the Bia was conquered by the Asantes. Some hunters were planted on the land to hunt for games for Asantehene. The hunters also doubled as informants for Asantehene in case the enemies approach the land. As a hunter by profession Nana Appia Dwaa when returning from the war field decided to settle at the current Hwidiem which was part of the Sefwi land captured. Refer to the Hwidiem State Book for details.

The Ekuona people;

Po Ekuona Family (alias Sarbeng Family)

Not too long after their settlement some hunters joined Nana Appia-Dwaa. They included Nana Kwabena Okine and Adomako Nyantekyi who had migrated from Wassa Akropong to settle briefly in Kumasi Bantama. The descendants of this group formed the current Poo Ekuona Royal Family. The arrival of this family dates back to the initial creation of Hwidiem in the 1750s. It is believed that Nana Okine and his brother, Nana Nyantekyi, had engaged in hunting together with Nana Appia-Dwaa. Refer to Hwidiem State Book for more information

The Esie Takyi Family

They traced their root to Asuhyiaye and are part of the early settlers of Hwidiem. The family is not too sure about their clan affiliation; it is however believed that they are royals of Asuhyiaye. Though the exact date for their arrival in Hwidiem is not known it is believed they might have settled in Hwidiem shortly after the settlement of Nana Appia-Dwaa. This is because oral history of Hwidiem indicates that Nana Esie Takyi became a mouthpiece of Taakofi. Refer to Hwidiem State Book for details.

Aduana Family of Hwidiem;

occupants of Akwamu and Kyidom Stools

The ancestors of this family traced their root to Asante Akropong. The reason for their migration was as a result of barrenness.

Nana Afua Adu Yeboah who was looking for a solution to her barrenness migrated with her brothers in search of help. After securing help from Nana Okomfuo Amankwaa she was married to Nana Sie Takyi who was then the mouthpiece of Taakofi.

Their settlement in Hwidiem might have dated back to 18th century and the early 19th century. Refer to Hwidiem State Book

Kotobo Ekuona Royal Family;

occupants of Twafuo Royal Family of Hwidiem

The settlement of this royal family might have occurred in the early 19th century. History has it that their ancestors migrated from Gyaman Sansa to Kumasi and they were under the care of Bantamahene. They also served under Akwaboahene before relocating at Kusuase (currently known as Akwasiase) before finally migrating to settle in Hwidiem. Refer to Hwidiem State Book

The Agona Family;

Occupant of Ananta Stool of Hwidiem

The family belong to the Agona Clan from the Tafo Gyase of Kumasi. The ancestors of this family were traders who during one of their business trips, did not return to Kumasi. Among them was Nana Nkrumah who was married to Opanin Akwasi Opoku and settled in Hwidiem.

Their settlement might have occurred in the early 19th century. Refer to Hwidiem State Book

Ntirakwa Ekuona Royal Family;

Occupant of Ankobea Stool of Hwidiem

The establishment of this royal family dates back to the mid 19th century as a result of marriage between one Opanin Kyei and Nana Pomaa. The exact date for the establishment of the family was not known; it is however believed that Opanin Kyei and Nana Pomaa might have settled in Hwidiem during the reign of Nana Kwabena Kontoh. Refer to Hwidiem State Book

The Ekuona Family; Occupant of Baamu Stool of Hwidiem

Though it is believed that the ancestors of this royal family might have settled in Hwidiem in the early 19th century the exact date for their arrival was not recorded and or captured in oral history. The ancestors of this royal Family migrated from Asuante and first settled in Kumasi Amakom and Adankwame before finally heading towards Hwidiem. Refer to Hwidiem State Book

The Asona Family; Occupant of Hwidiem Atipin Stool

The establishment of this royal family dates back to the 1920s on marriage grounds. Opanin Agyaben who got married to Maame Konadu left their home in Adankwaame in search of a place where they could be helped to bring forth children hence their settlement in Hwidiem. Refer to Hwidiem State Book

The Ekuona Family;

Occupants of Manwere Stool of Hwidiem

The settlement period of this royal family of Hwidiem traced back to the 1920s on marriage grounds between Maame Akua Mansa and Opanin Akwasi Awuah. Maame Akua Mansah traced her root to Asante Breman. Refer to Hwidiem State Book

The Anafi Panin Asona Royal Family;

occupants of Adonten Stool of Hwidiem

The family also occupies the Adonten Stool of Hwidiem and traced their root to Assin Nyankomase. The family, after migrating from Assin Nyakomase, settled in various places before finalizing their settlement in Hwidiem in the 1930s during the reign of Nana Kwame Appau. Among their ancestors who migrated to Hwidiem included Nana Anafi Panin, Nana Anafi Kuma and their sisters.

The Ekuona Royal Family;

occupants of Sanaa Stool of Hwidiem

The settlement period of this royal family is estimated to be in the 1940s during the reign of Nana Kofi Kyere as Hwidiemhene. Oral history tells that this family trace their root to Denkyira. They first migrated from Denkyira to settle in Bantama and later moved to Akwasiase. One Opanin Kofi Kyere is believed to have paved the way for the establishment of the royal family in Hwidiem. Refer to Hwidiem State Book

The Adinkanfo festival is celebrated by the people of Ahofo Hwidiem in remembrance of their forebears, as a sign of respect for their dedicated and selfless effort in founding the Hwidiem state.

The festival was begun in 1998 by the chiefs and people of Hwidiem in commemoration of their ancestors. This is mainly because it is not every community that has numerous social amenities and institutions to boast of. The ancestors through their efforts championed development and unity in various aspects of their lives. For instance they were able to create hamlets which have become towns and villages to form Hwidiem State, established schools, lobbied for construction of roads, farmed to ensure food security, built a cocoa shell which was later taken over by cooperative among others. It is believed that Hwidiem as a state was built through dedicated and selfless efforts by their ancestors. It is against this background that the chiefs and the people of Hwidiem propounded the Adikanfo literally meaning 'our forefathers' as a festival in honor of their ancestors.

During the festival, a whole week is set aside for various activities to be undertaken to ensure effectiveness. At the beginning of the festival, the chief and elders meet to deliberate on how to clean the whole town.

Subsequent to that, a communal labor is organized to weed and clean all the bushy areas by the men whilst the women sweep every corner of the town. On the Wednesday, the chiefs and the elders make sure everything is in its rightful place for the celebration of the festival. On Thursday, quiz competition is organized for all students in the community to determine a winner. The same Thursday is planned to host various meetings by the various royal families.

Friday is for Muslims in the community to go to their various Mosques to play for God's strength and blessings for the whole period. On Sunday, a football competition is organized for the people to decide the winner. Sometimes the match is either played between bachelors and the married or is played by dividing the entire town into two for competition to ascertain the winner. The Monday becomes a resting day for the chiefs and people of the community. The climax of the Adinkanfo festival falls on Tuesday, where a grand durbar is organized by inviting some distinguish guest. Those who are usually invited comprised of those in government, prominent chiefs and other high dignitaries to grace the occasion. During the durbar, a fundraising is usually organized in support of developmental activities in the town.

Special Roles during the Festival The Hwidiem Queen Mother has a unique role during the festival by organizing the women to sweep the whole town in making sure every corner is clean. The women in the town, as a sign of tradition sing a song across the length and breadth of the Hwidiem town to create awareness of the festival. The song is usually sung in praise of the Omanhene and the ancestors to thank God for another year. The song usually goes like stated below:

'Osee yie,

yena ye nie o,

Yeda wo asea ensa o'. (Repeated many times)

The song follows by the clapping of hands with some women dressed like men with tie. One other custom during the festival is that the women who have reached menopause are the ones responsible for preparing food for the Tano Kofi deity. Refer to the Hwidiem State Book for details.