Daasebre Oti Boateng I. King of New Juaben, stressing a point. To his left, obscured, is the Queen of New Juaben, Nana Yaa Daani II.
Credit: Oforione Website.
The Adontenhene of Kumasi, who also doubles as Asante Adontenhene, Nana Adu Gyamfi, arriving at a durbar in Kumasi. April, 2009.
Nana Juaben Serwaa II, The Juabenhene Seated on a Hwedomtea Chair. Prior to becoming the Juabenhene, Nana Serwaa was the Queen of Juaben, i.e the Juabenhemaa. She relinquished both Offices, in the late 1960s, following governmental interferences in the Oman of Juaben, after the overthrow of Kwame Nkrumah in 1966.
Nana Juaben Serwaa II, Queen of Juaben, in the 1960s dancing and singing at a performance of Nkrowaa. Nkrowaa, is unique to Juaben in Asante. It is performed for Royals of Juaben, at their demise, is the preserve of the Queen of Juaben only. I.e the performers of it, come under her direct command. Nana Juaben Serwaa II, is still alive, well past 100.
Daasebre Otuo Serebour II, The Juabenhene arriving with his retinue at the Adaekesee Kese3 of Asante, celebrated in May, 2009. Credit: Ghana Districts.
ASANTE AND FOR THAT MATTER, KUMASI'S, INDEBTEDNESS TO DWABEN
This was written by me, to one, known as Kofi Kumasi...it was to cure him of his ignorance...a mental affliction, unfortunately. Written in May, 2009.
Btw, don't you know, that the Kuntanasehene was on the side of the Dwabenhene in the last clash b/n Kumasi and Dwaben? Don't you know it was the Kuntanasehene who executed the messengers from Kumasi and sent a linguist stick of one of the bearers to Dwaben? Do you not know, that Kuntanase received guns and gunpowder from Dwaben when war became imminent, although when push came to shove, you people cowardly chickened out.
Sorry, in as much as I'm proud to be Asante, and a Royal of, for that matter, I don't do slavish servitude neither my people the Juaben. We are not in the habit of vanquishing one Denkyera, then creating another Denkyera, to come and lord it over us. Asante is a federation, to which all constituent thereof, including the Occupant of the Golden Stool(all due respect to him) are subject to checks and balances. Asante isn't a serfdom, that is not what we let ourselves in for, and won't allow to happen.
To say that, we revolted against the Golden Stool, is to display a crass knowledge of Asante. Yes, we revolted against Osei Yaw Akoto and Mensah Bonsu, and justifiably so. Juaben, shall never be allowed to be reduced to a slavish entity, subject to the whims and caprices of anyone? Do you know how Asante came about, do you know who Killed the Chief Oppressor of the Asantes at Feyiase in a war in which Osei Tutu I, didn't even fire a shot...let alone taking part in the actual combat? Or you think we Juabens are slaves...to be made to render menial services...so someone can grow fat through our efforts...Twea!!!
Do you know who first swore to fight Denkyera? Do you know who sheltered Komfo Anokye when the Kumasi's then Kwamangs wanted to kill him? On whose land and where, did Okomfo Anokye announce he wanted to make Asante Great?
Are you aware of who put Opoku Ware I, back on the Golden Stool, when his Kumasi chiefs deposed him forcefully? Do you know where he fled for his dear life? Do you know who sheltered him?
Opoku Ware I, was so successful in war, do you know which States of Asante, made this possible? Render thanks to Dwaben and Mampon.
Who helped Osei Tutu I to avenge the defeat of his granduncle?
Who saved Asante from an impending disaster, when Osei Kwadwo, Okowia, was forced to retreat in battle, against a formidable force of invaders from the northwesterly direction of Kumasi? All the more serious when the invading force began to penetrate the forests of Asante..which was the last barrier. Upon whose arrival, with his formidable battle hardened army, did enable the battle to be turned around and Osei Kwadwo, begin to proceed on the offensive. Whose decisive action following weeks of inconclusive battles in that conflict, sealed the doom of the oppressors? Who fought and crossed a river, scaled a mountain and killed the leader of the oppressors and much of his army, which led to their defeat? Who saved Asante on that day? Render thanks to Akuamoa Boaten Panin of Juaben, Osekyerehene...you ungrateful people of short fleeting memories.
Who captured and physically did away with Worosa(the slayer of innocent Asante traders)? Say thank you to Kwabiri Ameyaw of Dwaben Adu Ampoforo Antwi Konkori, Atwetwebuo a ehini atuo muooo.
In the time of Nana Osei Bonsu, who slew the Commander of the Oppressor's forces(Nsoko Ni Agyei) leading to their defeat, at a time of grave danger to Asante, when the opposition were overwhelming in number, and matters weren't going the war of Asante?
Who Saved the Golden Stool at Akatamanso...yes, your chief helped, but did he have the necessary forces to retrieve it from the enemies then?
To whom should thanks be rendered for saving the very symbol of Asante nationhood?
Twea, some rebellion you so. After we competed and bested them on the Salaga trade, after we became so wealthy and powerful, after Our King, saved the day at Akatamanso, they grew so jealous...esp. that incompetent,coward called Osei Yaw Akoto. Then he began to contrive cases against Nana Kwasi Boateng I, connived with his fellow sycophantic Kumasi chiefs and other chiefs of Asante, concluded along with his design that Nana Kwasi Boateng I was guilty. No wonder Nana Kwasi Boateng told him point blank, that he wouldn't pay sreko or kobo...why, you think we are cowards or slaves?
Oh yes, thinking that only Kumasi state should grow fat, and the wealth of Asante should be for him and his chiefs in Kumasi only, against the foundational constitution of Asante, they began to draw strategies to diminish, in power and prestige, the memberso of the other Amantuo Num...especially, Juaben, Mampong and Kumawu. More severely against Juaben....they threw away the advise and injunctions of Okomfo Anokye concerning Kumasi and Juaben relations.
Daasebre Otuo Serebour II, Juabenhene, Sitting in State at a durbar in Kumasi. May 2009.
JUABEN(DWABEN), AS HEAD OF ASANTE OYOKO.
1)Then Osei Tutu said to the Juabenhene, "You are the Head of the Oyoko Lineage, give me someone in your place, so when you go to your Capital, he will help me look after Kumasi. So the Juabenhene appointed Kwapon-Di-Awuo and he was Oyokohene.(I.e Oyokohene of Kumasi...in an acting capacity, i.e, for he only acts on behalf of the Juabenhene ...N.A) Busia..1951.
2) As a precondition, and as part of the concessions made by in the formation of the Union, in the words of Prempeh I, and I quote, " King Tutu told to Adarkwar Yiadom the King of Juabin to be the head in commander of the Yukus and Dakus. The Yukus are Kokofu, Bekwi, Insutar(Nsuta), Abohin(i.e Abohyen, in this group, comes the Stool of the Asantehene and his lineage), Atutuo, Bremand (i.e Oyoko Bremang), Contanasi(i.e Kuntenase), Akokofer(Akokofe) and Ajuarsi(Adwaase...nr KNUST)....The history of Ashanti Kings by Prempeh I. Ossei Akoto, I hope, you saw, how Adaakwa Yiadom was described by Asantehene, Prempeh I....Akrase
Juabenhene as Oyokohene of Asante--Head of all the Oyoko families and lineages that ruled the states constituting the 'true' amantuo.He is the only person who authenticates claims to Oyoko clan membership and subsequent claims of succession to any of the Oyoko Paramount Stools, including the Asantehene ( Inclusive also of the 10 Oyoko Stools of Kumasi, i.e the Oyokoduo Stools) the Oyokohene was/is 'the maker of Kings'
KWADWOM VERSE OF JUABEN
" Osagyefuo fa nsa gu yen ase oo aayi.....Kotokohene br3dwo oo br3dwo oo aayi....Agyepon Akosa kra ko anye....Adonten gu a y3nbusa busa Nana Amponyam Boaten ....Akyampomaa Dufie ba Amponyinam oo aayi.... Okoakwa damirifa, damirifa, damirifa aayi.....Kotokohene Fr3mpon damirifa adwo.
Akuamoa(Title of Juaben Kings) Otuo Serebour II, arriving at a function in Kumasi. 2008.
Ntahera horn players of Juaben, at the Juaben Court. 1960s. The Original Set, that is the authentic Juaben Ntahera however, is at New Juaben, Koforidua. I.e Is Now Domiciled at the Court of the New Juaben.
Ntahera Hornblowers of Juaben, heralding the approach of the Juabenhene in Kumasi, May, 2009.
Courtiers of Juaben, at a performance. Usually, the Strong names and Appellations of the Juabenhene, the heroic deeds of Juabens, will be drummed on the Atumpan drums--known as Ayan--by the Odomankoma Okyerema, followed by the chanting of Kwadwom honourifics by the Kwadwom minstrels(usually a pair of, as seen chanting or 'be kwadwom', to the right of the drummer) then, the State Horns, i.e Ntahera, will conclude with the sounding of some verses of Horn Music.
Darman(sometimes rendered Darmang or Daman), the place of which Grannie Dabas had spoken, turned out to be town in Juaben. Amy now visited Juaben and met with both the Darmanhene and the Juabenhene(king of Juaben). The story that unfolded was a fascinating one and Amy was able to trace her family history back at least to the 17th century . Furthermore, she turned out to be a relative of the Darmanhene himself, Nana Kwadjo (or Kojo) Safo III, who was also the main source of her historical information.
BEDIAKO (ONE OF THE TITLES OF JUABEN KINGS), ARRIVING IN KUMASI, IN MAY, 2009.
Daasebre Oti Boateng I, of New Juaben(seated, left of 2nd row) and Nana Yaa Daani II, Queen of New Juaben(seated, 2 seats removed from Daasebre on his left) at Pres. Obama's Speech Giving in Accra.
Grannie Dabas had been sold into slaverey as a result of the Kumasi-Juaben altercation. ( Bonniayε fuo, yεda mo ase oo). Selling your own people into slavery, Osei Yaw Akoto Adaworoma). Following on, the Juabenhene and most of the Juabens relocated to Akim Abuakwa, where they remained until the death of osei yaw akoto. Two of the Darmanhene's 4 daughters ( actually, nieces...I think...I'm fairly certain...N.A) were with the Juabenhene's party in Akim Abuakwa. The other 2 did not fare so well. They were sold to the King of Sefwi (in modern day Ivory Coast). One remained in Sefwi, married and raised a family. The other disappeared, as it were, without a trace. "But as fate would have it", Amy wrote, "this missing daughter was destined to propagate the Damang family in the New World".
The King of Juaben, Arriving at the durbar grounds in Kumasi.
Drum Interlude of Kwadwom
Osekyere Akuamoa Frampon damirifa
כtכee a wamme, a כtכ bio a כmma wo
Osekyerehene due ne amanehunu
Akuamoa Fr3mfr3 Odamirifa
Afia foro ban dime afro ban
Ponkoma kyi dankyire nyanowa eei
Maadwo beafo e'fo asaadom eei
Omia ne komefire ne Akyampon ni eei
Omia ne komefire no woaa no.
King of Osekyere, the Great....Sekyere Akuamoa...Akuamoa Bediako...Osekyere Akuamoa eei...Child of Juaben Afrakuma Kusi the Noble One...You are Valiant...You are a Man....You are indeed a Man....The Valiant Who fights the hosts....In so doing, wields the Shield and the War Sword...He who fears no one...King of Osekyere Bediako(He who came to fightכ....The Tiger who always spoils for a fight.
For after hearing Amy's account of Grannie Dabas' story, the Darmanhene was convinced that she was the fourth sister who had disappeared. He himself was the great-grandson of the sister who remained at Sefwi and he had been recalled only 6yrs earlier to become Darmanhene. The story of Amy's Ashanti ancestry was related to the King of Juaben, Nana Juabenhene(Nana Yaw Sarpong II), who after due deliberation gave it his stamp of approval in January, 1947. Nana Juabenhene, in turn related the story to the Asantehene, Prempeh II, a lineal descendant of the ancient Ashanti Kings.
Osagyefuo, Proceeding in State, flanked by swordbearers.
A TRIBUTE TO OSEKYEREHENE AKUAMOA BOATENG PANIN I
In keeping with his pedigree, he was a King of valour and great commercial acumen. In his time, the continual progress which culminated in the tremendous wealth that came the way of Juaben in that period was accelerated. Juaben became an avid competitor in the Salaga trade and other markets, to the chagrin of others. The spirit of enterpreneurship of the Dwabens, attested to, by the British in historical records, received a significant boost in his time.The Ruler of Dwaben Adu Ampoforo Antwi's reign coincidered with that of Oko-awia, Osei Kwadwo of Kumasi/Asante. In that time, an audacious offensive by some elements to the North West of Asante, posed a great danger to Asanteman.
Infact, so powerful was this threat, that the forces of King Osei Kwadwo and the King himself had to fight on the defensive, and even in so doing, had to fall back into the forests of Asante in the northeastwards direction...the opposing forces even penetrated the forests of Asante then, at which point the situation became very grave.Upon an appeal to him, the forces of Dwaben, under King Akuamoa Panin marched to the aid of his traditional brother. Only upon his arrival, was the situation reversed . They were then able to take the fight to the invaders. A remarkable event, well celebrated in Asante history( well, most will not know, owing to the selective history that pertains to this day) took place, which sealed the doom of the invaders, resulting in their defeat. For this event, yet again, once more Asanteman owes Dwaben a great gratitude.
After weeks of bitter fighting, with no clear winner emerging and severe losses on both sides, Nana Akuamoa Panin, gallantly fought his way, traversed the Nyempene River ( hence his title, now attached to the Yiadom Stool....Okotwa-asuo) climbed/scaled the huge Kasampire Rock, an astounding hill in essence ( hence his other title, Okoforobour...similarly attached to the Stool) all the while under severe assault and did away personally with a very important personality of the invaders. Only after this act of the King of Juaben, did the balance of the battle shift decisively in favour of Asante, and an impending disaster for the Asante Nation decisively checked.In due recognition of his gallant deed and the heroic role he played in that epic battle, some verses of the Dwaben Ntahera State Horns were composed in his honour, amongst other honours.
The verses are: 1) Osekyere Akuamoa 2) Osekyere Nyempene 3) Ataada Kasampire.King Osei Kwame of Asante, after going to the village of Nana Osei Kwadwo, came to meet Nana Akuamoa on the throne of Juaben. Their relationship was a mixed one. In part, cordial, at times, fractious and acrimonious. In his time, King Osei Kwame, relocated to Dwaben from Kumasi for a while.Won over by the alluring beauty of Nana Boaten's niece, the Odehye3 Agyeiwaa Badu, Nana Osei Kwame remained in Juaben for long, neglecting the duties of his office. The relationship which yielded a child, by name Sikayepena, went contrary to the laws of Asante. Nana Akuamoa Boaten, had some differences with Mampon over some jurisdictional disputes concerning lands acquired earlier by both entities.
In common with all humans, Nana had some less desirable aspects of his personality. In that, he was very hot-tempered ( a trait not unique to him, most Kings of Juaben were) fond of abuse and contemptious of advice and admonitions of his elders. For such conduct, he suffered a destoolment. He retired to a village outside of Juaben town proper...in conformity with the custom of those days, for a destooled Ruler, was not allowed to remain in his town for fear of subverting his successor.An incompetent, was enstooled in his stead. At the height of his incompetence, which cost Juabenman, some lands, he was destooled. Apologies were rendered by a now, regretful people of Juaben, and Nana Akuamoa Boaten Panin, was re-enstooled. The rest of his reign was spent in consolidating what he had achieved previously and guarding the constitutional privileges of Juaben, which some were attempting to abuse.
To recall his enstoolment, he ordered a horn to be blown, to be blown thus: Asante Kotoko, wo bekae me, Asante Kotoko, wo bekae me, Asante Kotoko Pakupan...to wit...Asante Kotoko, you will remember me 2x, Asante Kotoko The Ungrateful.For an efficient administration, he created the Ankobea stool.Osekyerehene Akuamoa Boaten Panin I, after a long reign, crossed the Great River to rest forever with Nananom Adikanfo). He was laid to rest in the Royal Mausoleum ( Barim) , his stool consecrated and placed in the Chapel of Stools( Nkonnwafie )(well, if owing to intrigues, it hasn't been shifted aside).
Osekyere Akuamoa, Osekyere Nyempene, Okotwasuo Koforo Kasampire bepo ......Ono no, Dwaben Boaten Nono...Osesedudo...Adwoa nua koran...Okofrobuo...Wona woyee sa, yee saa...foroo Kasampire bepo...Wokotwaa Nyempene nsue....Adinkra Kwadwo se oda wo ase...Ose oda wase ne nonifikatruo daa daa daa daa.....as the Executioners of Juaben recount his deed in that epic battle.Osekyerehene, my Great Forebear, Da yie. Osaman Kokuroko, Okatakyie, Okoampa, Dwaben ne Asante da wase da wase da wase.
The Regional Minister of Asante, Kofi Opoku Manu, greets Osekyerehene Serebour II. In the traditional sense, the Regional Minister is greeting his Ruler, since he hails from Konongo, a part of Juabenman. 2009.
The Queen of Juaben, Nana Akosua Akyaamaa III, in Kente and underneath umbrella, arriving in Kumasi, in May, 2009. Included in her retinue are some Divisional Queens of Juaben, and her courtiers.
'I returned from Sefwi about 6yrs ago through the services of Nana Juabenhene to assume my title as the Chief of Darman. My great-grandmother and many others of my village were made captives and sold into slavery during the Kumasi/Juaben confrontation of 18ε1.About the same time a young girl of our family disappeared - how, no one knew; she was the youngerst of the four(sic) sisters of my great-grandmother: the remaining two, Acheaa(Akyaa) and Buakyiwaa(Boakyewaa) remained at Juaben, and their descendants are still living, one of them Amporti, the nephew of the Great General Amporti of Juaben, you see here tonight.
Some Horn Verses of Juaben Ntahera(Juaben State Horns)
Asokwa Obuadum eei.....Momma moho mmere so.... Osekyere Akuamoa Daasebre...... Ye ma wo akye(adwo).......Obuadume eei momma moho mmere so.....Akuamoa Daasebre yεde wo twa kwa.....Na yεde wo bεsan aba.....Sekyere Akuamoa Daasebre....Due ne amanehunu.... Wofi Juaben Adu Ampofrε Antwi...Osekyere Yempene Akuamoa....Matwa Kasampere....Esuo yiri a na mo frε me.....Agyekum hene Birempon sore......Mokככko anaa mokככ bata?......Yewכ ha yi ara.
Aboa Kankane sεe כpε etwie ayכ wannya.......Mafro boכ, matwa nsuo.......Mafro Kasampere boכ...........Kotwa Mansa dada..... Deε obi awuo na obi nna........ Nkokכ de borכ bekum akoo.
כdo(Oduroכ Sasraku hwan na mmεn ni no?.....Juabenhene na mmεn ni no.........Akuamoa na mmεn ni no.....כdo Sasraku na mmεn ni no.
Asokwa Obuadum eei........Glorify yourselves......Osekyere Akuamoa Daasebre.....We say good morning(night) to you
Obuadume eei, glorify yourselves.........Mighty Akuamoa, we travel with you....We shall return with you.
Sekyere Akuamoa ( Whom we thank endlessly, to the point of weariness.....Condolences......You hail from Juaben Adu Ampofrε Antwi
Osekyere Yempene Akuamoa.......I have crossed Kasampere( a treacherous river.....You seek me only when there is a flood
Awake the great King Agyekum.........Are you here?..... Did you go fighting or trading?...No, we went nether. We are here.
Odo(Oduroכ Sasraku, who is known by the horns?....It is Juabenhene who is known by the horns....Akuamoa (Title of Juabenhene)כ is the one known by the horns
Oduro Sasraku is the one known by the horns.
MAMPONHENE, CAME TO SAY HELLO TO HIS FATHER(CLASSIFACTORY) NANA JUABENHENE. Recall, it was Juabenhene, Osei Hwedeε, The Slayer, who begot the Mamponhene, Osafo Katanka.
Nana Mamponhene, Osei Bonsu II, Daasebre, approaching the seating area of the Juaben King. ,he is at a halt, and being serenaded by the State Horns of Juaben.(Not in picture)
Moye ye ye a, Okankane...Wontumi.....Wontumi....Wontumi
Wofiri Asante Kotoko o
The Asantehene concluded this impressive and touching ceremony with a learned discourse on slavery and its implications for relations among Africans at home and those abroad. His was a message of hope and inspiration and a more fitting climax to Amy's near forty year search for her African roots. He said,