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Akan religion

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Title: Akan religion  
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Subject: Ashanti people, Western region (Ghana), African traditional religions, Traditional African religion and other religions, West African Vodun
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Akan religion

Adinkra symbol representing the omnipotence and omnipresence of Nyame

The Akan people of Ghana and Ivory Coast believe in a Supreme Creator who takes on various names depending upon the region of worship. The deity is commonly referred to as Brekyirihunuade ("almighty").

The supreme creator in the pantheon of the Ashanti is Nyame[1] (also Nyankopon), the omniscient, omnipotent sky god. He and Asase Ya, his wife, have two children: Bia and Tano.

The creator of the universe of the Ashanti is most often referred to as Odomankoma[2] ("infinite inventor"). Other examples in the creation story include Oboadee ("creator") and Anase Kokuroku ("the great designer" or "the great spider").[3]

The Ashanti believe abosom, or lower deities, more akin to spirits, assist humans on earth.

Anansi the Spider is a folk hero who is prominent in Ashanti folktales where he is depicted as a trickster. Abosom receive their power from the supreme creator and are most often connected to the world as it appears in its natural state. Priests serve individual abosom and act as mediators between the abosom and mankind. Many of those who believe in these traditions participate in daily prayer, which includes the pouring of libations as an offering to both the ancestors who are buried under the land and to the spirits who are everywhere.

Finally there are the Nsamanfo, or ancestors.


Olson, James Stuart (1996). The peoples of Africa: an ethnohistorical dictionary. Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood Press. p. 18.  

  1. ^ Sykes & Kendall 2001, p. 144.
  2. ^ Sykes & Kendall 2001, p. 146.
  3. ^
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