Brief History of Kwahu


Majority of Kwahus migrated from the Asante Kingdom from towns such as Pampasi, Kuntunasi, Juaso, etc. because of wars, misunderstandings and other issues as reflected in the formation of various townships in Kwahu. Kwahus first settled on the mountains to seek for protection. This offered them opportunity to see their enemies whenever any group was about to attack them. They used to hide in the valleys and roll stones/ rocks from the hill top against their enemies.

According to Asihene‟s (1996:22), “Kwahus migrated with Begoros and have certain historical and artistic traditions in common.” Roy Sieber in his analysis of wood carvings based on Oral Traditions of Begoro revealed that “Kwahu Oral traditions record a series of migration which took place about 1700 AD to the scarp of Kwahu on the area south of Kumasi from Adanse during the reign of Ntim Gyakari who was then the king of Denkyira (1695-99).

Nkansa –Kyeremanteng (2000: 36 and 37) gave three (3) analyses and perspective about the formation of Kwahu Townships. Kyeremanteng indicated in his write up that the movements of the three main Kingdoms are Kowu Kingdom, Akoawu Kingdom and Kodiabε Kingdom. Most of these kingdoms were corrupted and became Nkawkaw.

Kyeremanteng states that “Bepong was said to be a formidable Kingdom with heavily guarded mountain passes. The fear the Kingdom evoked got its name “Kowu” which simply means “go there and die”. The name Nkawkaw (Nkכּ-Kowu) was a warning to people approaching the Kwahu chiefdom”. Kyeremanteng further explains another source about the historic formation of Kwahu, thus Akoawu Kingdom. He stated that Kwaw Baadu was a successor of Osei Twum, one of the nephews of King Ntim Gyakari of Denkyira. Kwaw Baadu sent his scout Kofabra to select a healthier site, for their settlement at Anweam. Kofabra selected Bokuruwa. When he perished, Baadu his servant renamed the healthier site Akoawu which eventually got corrupted into Koawu/Kwawu.

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Kyeremanteng continued to describe the third chiefdom or dynasty as Kodiabε. Tena – Bretuo group which is known to be Abene left Adanse to escape from Ntim Gyakari‟s oppressive rule. Some other clan companies (groups) who left Adansi included Nana Amaniampong, Nana Ameyaw (Mposo Frempong) and Nana Adu Gyanemfi, founders of Asante Mampong, Asante Afidwase and Asante Gyamase respectively.

Abene is the place where the Royal seat of Kwahu is located. People from Abene claim to be the first people to settle on the Kwahu land, which is in the valley. However, the people from Burukuwa claim to be the royals of the land since they said they were the first group to find settlement on Kwahu land. Due to that there has been rivalry between people from Abene and Burukuwa, in terms of the capital where the royal seat should be. The occupant of Kwahu stool is from the Bretuo clan.

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Dwellers from Kwahu settled on the mountain to seek for protection and because of that the people formed a slogan known as Asase Aban, Yεnte Gyae (Protectors of the Land, We don`t quit).  The other slogan for Kwahu people is Oboכּ (Rock), and their response is Oboכּba (Child of the Rock).

Kwahus were never conquered in wars by any ethnic group. Almost all the wars recorded in Kwahu history were brought down from the original settlers and warriors from other ethnic groups who needed new settlements as they fled from their ancestral homes due to unsafe conditions arising from disputes, bad climate and other adventurous necessities. The people had to look for new and conducive settlement.

Details of on Kwahus history including pictures, way of life and others are shown at the link below.


  1. QUITE INSIGHTFUL… with the various perspectives described and would have loved to have to hear more of these stories….


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