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People & Culture

The People Of Akuapem.




The Akuapem is one of the main ethnic groups of the Akan people. These people mostly reside in the south of the Eastern Region of Ghana. They are indigenous, consisting of both patriarchal Volta-Comoe-speaking Guans and matriarchal Kwa-speaking Akan.

Akuapem people shares common borders with the Ga in the southern part of Ghana, Krobo in the northeastern part of Ghana and New Juaben states to northwestern part of Ghana.

The Akuapem were formerly Guan speaking people, including the Larteh, Abotakyi, Mampong, Obosomase, Mamfe.

The localities that speak Akan, Twi include the capital, Akropong, and Amanokurom who migrated from Akyem and Mampong.


Akuapem are famous for being the home of Basel mission that is now The Presbyterian Church Of Ghana, in 1835 when the missionaries led by Andreas Riis arrived in Akropong with his friend Lutterodt of Osu and laid the Foundation of the Basel Missionary upon where the gospel spread through the whole country.

The name Akuapem was given by Nana Ansa Sasraku I of Akwamu, a renowned warrior king. The word “Nkuu apem” (thousand groups) in Akan is the source of the name. After the people overpowered his Akwamu invasion force, he gave them these names. The term “Nkuu apem” became Akuapem as we currently know.

Bob marley`s wife, Rita Marley is a citizen of Akuapem town. She has been living in Aburi for ages where she owns her recording studios and other businesses on the Akuapem Mountains.

Climatic Condition & Vegetation

The towns of Akuapem are in The Eastern Region and situated between longitude 0°15 W – 0°00 and latitude 5°45 – 6°00 N. These towns are located on the Akuapem Ridge, which runs northeastwards across the Volta Region and extends further into Togo. It is bounded South by Ga (Akra), East by Adangme and Krobo, North and West by Akem.

There are two raining seasons where the major rainfall occurs between the month of May and August. The minor rainfall occurs in October. Averagely, there is about 1,270mm rainfall annually. Mean Temperatures range between 24ºC and 30ºC and at night the temperature is between 14ºC and 26ºC

rain forest

The vegetation of the district forest with shrub and semi-forest. Most town and villages are located on a mountain and it is very difficult to see in the morning, because of the tall trees. It has also got deep valleys which makes farming activities very difficult.  Rainfall averages 127ºmm.


The Akuapem comprises both Akan and Guan communities. The Guan Okere who occupy the northern part of Akuapem speak Kyerepong whereas Late-Ahenease and Larteh-Kubease speak Larteh. Both Larteh and Kyerepong Guan languages, unlike Akan Kaw language Larteh belong to the larger Volta-Comoe group of languages of the larger Niger-Congo phylum.

With Akuapem Twi spoken by almost all the residents in the Akuapem mountains, Twi language can be the most effective medium of mass communication and functional education as well as development information dissemination.

Festival Of Akuapem

the people of Akropong-Akuapem celebrate Odwira Festival. Aburi, Larteh and Mamfi in the Eastern Region of Ghana. The Akuapem Odwira festival was initiated by the 19th Okuapimhene of Akropong, Nana Addo Dankwa and was first celebrated in October 1826. It was celebrated to remember their victory over the invincible Ashanti army during the historic battle of Katamansu near Dodowa in 1826 and also to cleanse themselves and ask for protection from their gods.

Odwira Festival is a week long series of traditions and rituals performed to purify the town, the people and most importantly, the ancestral Stools of the Chieves. It is also a festival to celebrate the harvest of “new yams”.


Before the occasion, activities like no loud music, no eating of yam, no drumming, no whistling after dark is forbidden and fines and punishment goes to individual who go contrary to that.

Odwira Festival, broken into six days and each day has a significance and a purpose. This starts from Monday and ends on Sunday.


odwira festival

three men from the royal families in the town go and clear the path to their ancestral burial grounds. This is the sacred cemetery or “Ammamprobi”. They do that to invite them to the festival


The men from the royal family return to the sacred cemetery to get the ancestors’ permission to perform the festival and guarded by “Executioners” chant and fire guns whiles the entire village gather along the streets and cheer these men.

A message to the chief to proceed the festival and all bans are lifted. People gather around the palace clap and make merry whiles the strongest men in the town battle against each other to grab one yam and take it home to cook.


This day, the people in the town mourn all loved ones and ancestors who passed away. People who died during the six week ban is done on this day. People normally wear red or black or both. they fast throughout the day, drink, wail and drum.

odwira festival


This day on the Odwira calender is for Feasting. People exchange foods and other gifts. Some people also pay homage to the chief and queen mother and give them presents of all kinds. The royal families prepare mashed yams with eggs to be sent to a shrine for the ancestors to eat. This food is carried on the head of women to the shrine. These women look drunk and tired, walk in an uncontrolled manner, stager sometimes, run occasionally and stop abruptly. Some believe that these women are “possessed” by the ancestors. There’s other forms of activities like eating and cooking competitions.

odwira festival


The grand durbar is held on this day and not only inhabitants participate, but many dignitaries. Chiefs and queen mothers from all over Ghana are present and everybody who wants to celebrate the festival. The Okuapemhene and Queen mother wear their full traditional regalia with gold all over their body. The Chief is carried in a palanquin, drumming, rituals and singing goes on and a lot of gun firing is made

The paramount chief gives his speech after which the celebration continues into the night. There is an Odwira state dance in the evening, raves and many events in the night. Miss Odwira is one beauty contest done.

Saturday & Sunday

These two days don’t really have anything special going on. There are few games like soccer etc.

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