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Origins of the Guans - Read More

The Guan were the first people to enter and settle in Ghana. All the other ethnic groups admit that they came to meet the Guan on their arrival in the country.

Thus, the Guan are the real aborigines of Ghana. However, their traditions of origin show that even they are not indigenous to Ghana. Originally, they lived in present-day Burkina Faso. Later on, as a result of wars with the Mande, the Guan moved southwards to settle near the modern Gonjaland in Northern Ghana.

The Guan immigrants entered Ghana in three groups. The first group remained in the Gonjaland where they organised the strong kingdom of Gonja. The second group of the Guan went to settle in the Afram plains. There, they established a powerful state ruled by the great Ataara Ofinam I. This great kingdom attracted the attention of the Adanse who fought several wars with them.

As a result of frequent Adanse attacks, some of the Guan crossed the Volta river towards the coast. They finally settled in different areas where they founded some minor disunited states like At wo de, Santrokofi, Lolobi, Anum, Etsii and Boso.

The third group moved southwards towards the Lower Volta. They settled at present day Larteh, Adukrom, Awukugua, Apirede, Dawu, Abiriw, Abonse, etc., which form the Kyerepong or Okere section of modern Akwapim.

Some members of the third group moved westwards to settle along the coast. They included the Efutu, Awutu and Senya states of Winneba, Awutu Bereku and Senya Bereku. Other Guan people of the third group moved towards the north-east, crossed the Volta river to settle in areas like Nkonya, Krachi, Yeji, Nchumburu, etc.

It must be noted that as a result of military weakness, some of the Guan later came to be absorbed and ruled by other ethnic groups. For example, after the defeat of Akwamu by the Akyem in 1733, the Kyerepong (Okere) group of the Guan came to accept Akyem protection and rule.

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Burkina Faso Ghana Guan Guans Mande


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