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date: 16 October 2019


  • Doran H. Ross


Group of separate but related peoples living in the forest and coastal areas of south-western Ghana, West Africa. Sub-groups include the Asante (see Asante and related peoples), Fante, Brong, Wassa, Aowin and Akuapem. The term ‘Akan’ is also sometimes used to refer to peoples in Côte d’Ivoire speaking closely related languages, for example the Baule, Anyi and Nzima. In addition, Akan-derived arts are found among many unrelated but adjacent groups such as the Lagoon peoples, Akye, Attie and Ebrie, for example, of south-eastern Côte d’Ivoire and the Ewe of south-eastern Ghana. Traditionally, all the Akan peoples were organized into a series of states each headed by a paramount chief who ruled with the aid of a council of elders and a hierarchy of divisional, town and village chiefs. The Asante are the largest and best known of these kingdoms, and much art from other Akan areas has been misidentified as Asante....

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