Digiqole ad

The Akyeame of Otumfuo Asantehene

 The Akyeame of Otumfuo Asantehene

Akyeame of the Asantehen(Asante King) who through their staffs carry intricate diplomatic messages symbolises ancient technology engaging with the present

Otumfuo Asantehene has AKYEAME DU MIENU (Twelve Linguists or Spokesmen), who also serve as his Counsellors and Advisors.

Three of them are shown in this photo taken at Otumfoɔ Asantehene Address @UPSA, Accra. Two of them are holding the Akyeampoma (Akyeamepoma) also known as the Linguist Staff.

From the right on your screen:

The Chief Linguist or Otumfoɔ Akyeamehene….. Nana Nsuase Poku (Kumase Adum Nsuasehene). His other title/office is Otumfuo Domakwaehene.

Domakwae is a potent administrative/fighting battalion with Two fighting Divisions (Benkum-Left Wing, and Nifa-Right Wing). Otumfuo Domakwaihene serves under the Kumase KYIDOM FEKUO headed by Oheneba Akyempimhene.

Otumfuo Kyeame Baafuo Kantankrankyi, with his Akyeampoma….. of a man with an arm in a stump….; signifying, he tells the TRUTH all the time, no matter the consequences.

The finial atop the Akyeampoma or Staff shows a man standing with stump arm or NSA KUTU SINI. It carries the warning that not being truthful, has consequences; and may result in punishment, in this instance, the loss of limb

Otumfuo Kyeame Nana Antwi Boasiako, with his Akyeampoma (Okyeame Poma or Linguist Staff) finial of three human heads deliberating on an issue, with each looking at different direction…. The Heads are conjoined, in a knot…. meaning they have the same goal….., though they may be looking at things differently.

In Asante Twi it signifies that TI KRƆ NKƆ AGYINA. Meaning it is impractical, impolitic, for one person alone to take decisions on behalf of the whole group or the Nation. Issues of national concern, and national interest must be discussed even among those with differing views, sorted out of differences, in order to reach amicable, workable, conclusions beneficial to the Nation.

The implication here, is that; dictatorship; one-man rule; cult of personality, are abhorrent to human growth and national development.

It signifies diversity of opinion in reaching accommodating conclusions and understanding, as being prerequisites to advancing group and national agenda. It conveys the advice that, though we may have our differences opinion, but we must be accommodating to the differences of opinion to reach accord, in order to advance national goals. This is the underpinning bedrock of Asante governance.

FACT: Asanteman was a democratic Nation, 76 years before the United States was born.

The etymology of ƆKYEAME comes from ƆKYE AMENE; literally, one who “captures the brain.”

The Asante Twi word for the brain or brain tissue is AMENE. Using your AMENE to think is described as having ADWENE.

The person who is able to understand and decipher what a King says and then, in translating, makes it more understandable and palatable to the public, and vice versa, is said to have ‘captured’ the King’s brain. The Okyeame therefore, sanitizes the public discourse, by making whatever the King says acceptable, without bending the truth or significance of the King’s message. It is said he is ƆKYE AMENE or ƆKYEAME.

The position of ƆKYE AMENE started from the Asante State of ADANSI who’s Chief Awurade Basa, was known to be rather unguarded in his public utterances. His lack of decorum in speech, created resentment and distrust among his subjects. In order to ameliorate the situation, he employed the services of one his subjects, a man recognized for his deep knowledge and understanding of the language. It was the witty, who was appointed Nfrafo to assist in blunting the Chief’s unguarded statements and insulting public utterances. The position made Okyeame Nfrafo the unintended public target of the peoples’ scorn against the Chief edicts. Nfrafo succeeded in providing a sanitized version of the Awurade Basa’s messages. And, if the people were angry, that resentment and scorn, were directed at Nfrafo. It was a win-win situation for Nana Awurade Basa.

The Adansi aphorism, “Yɛkasa (Yerekasa) Nfrafo, na ɛnso (nso) yɛ ne (yɛ de) Awurade…… To wit, while we publicly upbraid Okyeame Nfrafo, our main target is rather Chief Awurade Basa, comes from that symbiotic relationship between the Chief and his Okyeame.

By: Sankofa Asante

Digiqole ad

Related post