Fante people


Fante people are mainly from the Akan tribe. Fante people originate from Ghana.

In the 15th century they prevented the Portuguese from taking full control of the area and they were forced to retreat. The Port were then followed by the Dutch and British.

Wikipedia describes them as below

 Fante subgroup is mainly gathered in the south-western coastal region of Ghana, with some also in Ivory Coast. Fante main city is Cape CoastCentral regionand Mankessim as their traditional headquarters. They are one of the Akan peoples, along with the “‘Asantefo'” or Ashantis, the Akuapem, the Akyem, the Baoule, Guam, and others. Despite the rapid growth of theAshanti Empire in historic times, the Fante have always retained their state to this day. 

One of the social contexts of names among the Akan, and the Fante, for that matter is that they are used as social tags to indicate personal and group identity. This is so with family names derived from the patrilineal clans of the fathers that are given to children. Each of the twelve patrilineal clans has its peculiar family names. It is thus possible to use one’s name to trace his/her patrilineal clan. Children who trace their genealogy to one patrilineal father may therefore share similar family names.[2] Some typical family names include: Yankah, Osam, Aidoo etc. There have also been innovations as a result of westernisation, education and foreign religion. Multiple names have also developed out of this phenomenon. Also, some Fante names are translated literally into English and such anglicised names have come to stay as family names. One can argue that the Fantes living on the coast were the first to be in contact with the Europeans. It is therefore possible that the trend is a western influence. Examples of such anglicised transformational name are:

  • Dua (lit tree/board) – Wood
  • Kuntu (blanket ) – son of Kuntu Blankson
  • Kumi ba ( child of Kumi) – Kumson or Koomson
  • Kwei ba ( child of Kwei) – Quayson, Quayeson, Kweison or Kwaeson
  • Akorɔma (hawk) – Hawkson
  • Nyameba – Godson
  • ɛbo (stone) – Rockson

Accordingly, some family names can also be identified by the suffix, for example:

  • -son as in Yawson
  • -ful, as in Arkorful,
  • -ney, as in Biney.

Otherwise, Fante (Akan) typological family names indicate various contexts. They may be circumstantial, manner of birth, theophorous, weird names, insinuating and proverbial names, gang and nicknames, status, occupational, professional, religious, matrimonial, and western names.

End of extract  Extract below:

Below from

The story of Fante pdf print preview print preview
21/05/2011 Page 1 of 1

The story of Fante

Know the origin of towns

By Kwame Ampene

FANTE ORIGINS: THE TAKYIMAN KWAMAN- MANKESSIM PERIOD: all versions of BoriBori Fanti tradition of origin migrated from Takyiman in present-day Brong Ahafo Region where they were once part of the Ancient Bono State with its capital at Bono Manso (located about 16 kilometres north of modern Takyiman).

Tradition relates that in the autonomous city-state of Bono Manso, the ancestor of Gomoa lived in one of the wards called Dwomo, and were, therefore, known as the Dwomofo. The Anomabo royals of Oyoko (Anona) clan belonged to the Offuman group of people; the word Akumfi was a stool title of the Bono State; this word is the same Ekumfi in the Fante area, and so in Ekumfi today the assembly is addressed ‘Bori-Bori Kumkumfi’, and the people reply, Kumkumfi Gyadu’. When this happens, know that there is a matter to be decided by brains/not by braw! (See, for example, Sutherland D.A. ‘State Emblem of the Gold coast’ 1952, p.43).

Again the name Takyi or Tekyi is common among the early rulers in both States. Moreover, some of the coastal Fante are said to celebrate same Apo Festival as that of Takyiman (See: Rattray, R.S 1923, P. 153). It was during the Apo Festival that all the faults and shortcomings of the King and Chiefs are publicly renounced in the form of chants so that they would no longer ignore their traditional and ritual responsibilities (The term Apo means ‘to reject’, which implies period of rejection of all wrongs in the state ). Finally, whenever the paramount Chief of Mankessim dies, the Takyimanhene is customarily notified to go and bury him and vice versa.

Their ancestors broke off due to succession dispute; so Takyiman people remarked; FA ATE. Translated literally this means ‘break away’. The separatists were led by three royals of the Bono state who eventually became warlords namely, Oburumankoma; Osono and Odapagyan. Their first place of abode was on a hill from where they could spy their enemy. This place was recommended by Okomfo Edu. She had two priest assistants – Kurentsi and Korado. The land belonged to the Etsi Guan aborigines at Okornafo and Korado who were subdued and named the place Akan-man, meaning Akan State, now known as Kwaman.

They settled at Kwaman for some years; however, due to population pressure, a large section of them migrated southwards towards the coast. Those who stayed behind were organized into a state under Chief Idan I, and the place became corrupted into Kwamankese (Great Kwaman).

The story goes that Abeadze and Bisease in Komenda did not join the main party southwards. Also the Gomoa were later immigrants from Takyiman . Again the word “Anyan” means ‘Wakers’ because when the cock crew during the journey, then the congregation woke and started their journey, because according to the rules of the stool, they were not to travel with it during the day-time, but during the night only since they left Takyiman (Vide: D.A. Sutherland , Op.cit,p.35)

Tradition recounts that during the journey the Nkusukum walked in the middle serving as a ridge with Abora at the Right flank, and Ekumfi at the extreme left, braced up on their journey. This is the origin of the appellation ‘Odamea’ – a ridge connecting the two side posts (see Sutherland, op.cit.P63)

While trekking southwards, they fought the Etsi-Guan autochonous inhabitants whose chief was Akraman and drove them to the present –day Gomoa country.  Their capital town Adoweggyir, was occupied by the Fante and renamed Mankessim.

At Mankessim, the three warlords died and they were interred in a nearby grove which became the famous Nananom Pow- the national shrine or oracle of Bori-Bori Fante. Their meritorious deeds are worthy of emulation.

At Mankessim, the BoriBori Fante (ie. ‘The host of innumerable Fante people’) lived in five wards (Abono) namely, Kurentsi Amanfo Edumndze, Anaafo or Ntsetse, Nkusukum and Bentsi. Each ward had its own Brafo and enjoyed absolute independence of the others; however, they recognized  one of them as the supreme Head whose position was one of pre-eminence among equals (vide! Adu Boahen , Fante origins: The Mankessims period’ in ‘A Thousand years of West African History, 1968pp.180-1820.

They remained at Mankessim a long time before they began to from new territorial states. The dispersion did not take place earlier because the Etsi –Guan until the 1620s, and the Assin until the 1960s, presented an impenetrable barrierto the Fante. On the coast they came to meet the Abrem, Edina, Oguaa (Cape Coast), fetu, Asebu who lay claim to an autonomous origin within their own localities , and are recognized by the Fante themselves as non- Fante States. It was only after gradual suppression of those nearer Mankessim that the dispersion of the Fante became possible. Eventually, they emerged as identifiable geopolitical entities:-

1.      Out of Anafo(Ntsetse) were formed Abora and Anomabo states

2.      Out of Edumadze was formed Ekumfi State

3.      Out of Bensti were formed Anyan Abaasa.

4.      Out of Nkusukum was formed Ekumfi State.

5.      The Kurentsi Amamfo people remained at Mankessim and did not form any new state.

The wards of Edumadze and Nkusumun left Abaatan in their original wards at Mankessim. Note that the Gomoa Assis and the Gomoa Ajumako were later immigrants from Takyiman who joined the Fante at Mankessim. They emigrated eastwards to carve kingdoms for themselves. (Vide: Fynn, J.K.’ The pre Borbor Fante States)


In jamaica the Akan slaves were called coromantee. I have seen Jamaican records describing the slaves in this way. Where the slaves are called Coromantee they are Jamaican slaves from Ghana



Coromantins, Coromanto, Kormatine
Regions with significant populations
Jamaican English,Jamaican Patois,Maroon Spirit language
(originally)Kumfu,Obeah; (presently)ChristianityandRevivalism
Related ethnic groups
Akan,Ashanti,Jamaicans of African descent

Coromantee,Coromantins,CoromantiorKormantine(derived from the name of the Ghanaian slave fort ofFort Kormantinein Koromanti, Ghana provide the below insights during this time and show the scale of slavery.

  •  Trade From Africa to the Americas (Slavery in America, an educator’s site made possible by New York Life) (17)

Slave trade routes from Africa to the Americas during the period 1650-1860 are shown. There were additional routes to the New World from  Mozambique, Zanzibar and Madagascar on the east side of Africa. Most of the slaves from the east side were brought to Portuguese controlled Salvador in the state of Bahia, Brazil, along with many other slaves from Angola. Brazil received more slaves from Africa than any other country in the New World. The 500,000 African slaves sent to America represents 10% of the number sent to Brazil, and 11% of the number sent to the West Indies. According to the estimates of Hugh Thomas (12), a total of 11,128,000 African slaves were delivered live to the New World, including 500,000 to British North America; therefore, only 4.5% of the total African slaves delivered to the New World were delivered to British North America. Also from Hugh Thomas, the major sources of the 13 million slaves departing from Africa (see slave ports map, above) were Congo/Angola (3 million), Gold Coast (1.5 million), Slave Coast (2 million), Benin to Calabar* (2 million), and Mozambique/Madagascar on the east coast of Africa (1 million).

 Descendants of the Fante tribe

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