*) Nana Dwaben Serwaa II. Nana was enstooled as Queen of Dwaben in the 1940s. From the late 195o's to 1964 or so, Nana took over the male stool of Dwaben and subsequently became Juabenhene. Following the political disturbances in the 60s, Nana abdicated. Fortunately, this pillar of traditional lore and wisdom is still alive and kicking, being now in her very late 9os. ( 2nd picture on page )....Credit: Panoply of Ghana
In the Kwahu area, the people of Akwasiho, near Nkawkaw are Juabens, or of Juaben descent. Other Juabens, especially some of royal descent can be found in Obo, and other Kwahu towns. I do recall here, a one time popular musician by name Nana Aaron, hailing from Obo, Kwahu, intimating in an interview once, that they actually hailed from Mpampama ( One of the royal houses, I'm told, in Juaben ).
Elsewhere, in Ghana, Juabens can also be found in Central Region, where I'm informed there's a town called Mfante Juaben. In the Western Region, Juabens can be found in Enchi in Aowin ( Infact, there are some Juaben royals there ), and some other towns in Sehwi. Personally, I've come across a Sehwi man, bearing the name Adaakwa, who upon further enquiry, disclosed, that his family actually hailed from Juaben.
Infact, Juabens aren't situate in Ghana only. In La Cote d'Ivoire, they can be found in huge nos., in Assikasou.
In Kwabre area, Juaben royals can also be found in Wawase and Antoa. The Oyoko ruling family of Sekyedumase, are Juaben royals. Likewise, Dadease in Amansie area, now subsumed under Kokofu ( rather reluctantly ), are true royals of Juaben.
Infact, before the days of the Asante Union, Juaben was a fully fledged state , with one of biggest populations of that era. After the formation of the union, and by dint of indigenious hardwork, enterprise, and dare, all of their own initiative and none else, Juaben ranked second only to Kumasi, in terms of land area under control, population, wealth, military might and the status of its monarch or stool. The population of Juaben town alone, in about 1832 or so, was said to be approaching 70, 000, discounting the rest of Juabenman. Juaben lands extended over most of present day Asante Akyem, Basa, Krakye, Nanumba and Nchummuru.
Infact, the Europeans esp. the British, testified that of all the states of Asante, the Juabens, were the most given to trade and enterprise. By dint of hardwork, the establishment of Kola plantations etc, and the cunning and enterprise of its King, Osekyerehene Akwasi Boateng, Juaben soon came to dominate the vital Asante northern trade to Salaga. The state, as a subsequence grew very rich from this trade, and as Ramseyer testified, in the 1870s, Juaben was the most well built, well planned and laid out town in the whole of Ashanti. It's Abrempon and asikafoo, did possess ornately decorated 2-storied houses etc. Infact, the entrance to the stone palace of the Juabenhene were lined with gold-plated sandals.
Militarily, with the exception Kumasi, Juaben it was, which had the next highest quota. It alone could put into the field, about 35, 000 men at arms, more than twice that of other component Asante states such as Mampong, Kokofu, Nsuta, Bekwai, Kumawu etc. ( Bowdich in 1817 or so ).
In that time, it was the Juabenhene alone, who could rival the retinue of Otumfuo the Asantehene, in size, regalia etc.( Bowdich, in 1817, counted as much as 40 drums in the retinue of the Juabenhene, Akwasi Boateng alone, at an Odwira festival in Kumasi ). Infact, at that time, i.e during the period of Asante Osei Assibey Bonsu, Juaben ranked as a co-equal monarchy vis-a-vis Kumasi in Ashanti. " The Juaben monarch, Akwasi Akuamoa Boateng, Okyerefoo' was said to have been so rich in his time, that he vied with Osei Yaw Akoto, the then Asantehene, in the display of gold on every public occasion". Juaben again, in 1800, i.e during the reign of its King, Akuamoa Panin Boateng, had become the most powerful, rich and autonomous state in the Asante union.....( Political Crisis in Ashanti, by Dr Akosua Aidoo.) A testament to the sense of industry, hardwork and perseverance of our forebears. This ought, to inspire us.