Gye Nyame
Gye Nyame.
Akan Studies
Gods I; Tutelary Deities
by Phil Bartle
Buruku
Following the path of least resistance makes all rivers -- and some men -- crooked.
La version française de ce document.A versão portuguesa deste documento
.
All God's Children
..
The tutelary deities, abosom, all seen as "children" or extensions of the Supreme Being, are considered to be the personalities which inhabit mountains, rocks, caves, and rivers.  The meaning of "כbosom" (כbo = rock, som = carry) is not exactly clear, but may mean "to support a rock," or "the rock which supports."  It is therefore interesting to see that when the ancestral stool is brought into pubic, it is always placed upon some rocks on the ground... See Ancestors I.
..
The god Tano is the stool god for Obo.  It came with the Amoakade matriclan from an area at the head of the Tano River in what is now Brong Ahafo in Western Ghana near the Côte d'Ivoire border. .. The stool drums (talking drums) recite a poem that includes: "The stream crosses the path.  The path crosses the stream.  Which came first?  Pure, pure Tano" .. It was explained to me that the gods (streams) were here before the people (ancestors).
..
The Guan people inhabited the area before the Akan came.  They were patrilineal and their chiefs were usually also priests...  While there was likely some warfare, only a few warriors would have been killed, and the wives and children kept and integrated into the Akan social organization.  The Akan kept the names and practices of the local gods. .. Personalities and morals are inherited from fathers, as each god became an origin of a different patriline (ntorכ).  Like other offices such as stools (signifying offices in the oman structure) the gods are now each "owned" by a matrilineage.
..
Some currently matrilineal corporate descent groups, such as that of the Ankobeahene of Obo, relate that they were originally patrilineal but, with the arrival of the Akan, they converted from patrilineal succession and inheritance, and the formation of descent groups, to matriliny.
..
..
Rivers and Rocks
.

Sacred Bosom Pra River South of the Kwawu Escarpment
(before it makes its long journey to the coast between Cape Coast and Takoradi)
..
While rivers appear red because of the iron oxide in the soil, they are still considered the white part of the universe, as seen in waterfalls and springs. Three Souls.
..
..
Spring, Waterfall.   Geographer and former Member of Parliament, the late Ben Ofori
.
..
Rock Faces, Cliffs, Overhangs and Shallow Caves are Also Gods
..
..
Chief Among Kwawu Gods, Buruku
..
Eastern view of Inselberg Buruku from road to Afram Plains.Southern view of Inselberg Buruku from the North side of Kwawu Tafo
Chief among the Kwawu Gods is Buruku on the north side of the Escarpment. An inselberg
..
Once the central core of an active volcano, the inselberg is now all that is left as the earth around it eroded away over the millennia.  Its phallic image is unmistakable.
..
From this shrine and field for Adae Kese, you can see the inselberg.Nana Burukung Komfo
Shrine of the Chief God, Buruku, at Kwawu Tafo
..
.
Acolytes and supporters of the god, Buruku, during an afahye
........
Onyamedua (Alter to Supreme Being)
Onyame Dua (God Stick) Alter
....
The Rock
..

The Rock
..
While this well known legend is a story with no objective evidence, I also read it in a diary entry of a District Commissioner in the Public Records Office in London.  When the British were building a new road north of Ashanti, they hired a Scottish engineer to implement the project.  On finding this rock in the way of the planned road, being a practical man, he ordered that it  be moved out of the way. "You can not do that," said his workers, "it is a god."  Although they moved it, when they showed up for work the next morning it was back in place.  Being a practical man, he ordered it put on a lorry and carried a few kilometres away.  When they showed up for work the next morning it was back in place.  Being a practical man he ordered it put on a lorry and carried thirty kilometres away.  When they showed up for work the next morning it was back in place.  Being a practical man he designed a new road route that went around the rock.
....
..
Food for the Gods
..
Once a year the first yams must be blessed.  No one may eat new yams until this is done.  The priestesses prepare etoEto is a mixture of mashed (not pounded into fufu) yams, palm oil and eggs.  It is often fed to people when they are ill, and to old people with no teeth.  It is considered a favourite among the gods.  the head priestess will put a bit of the mixture on the door step of all the established stool houses (locations of the major matrilineages in the town).
..
....
..
Preparing the Eto
..
The word "odwira" (annual ritual cleansing or baptism) appears to be derived from the word "guare" (wash).
........
Asuboni
..
Asuboni (asu = water; boni = bad, naughty) is a little river which begins on Obo land north of  the town, and runs northwest, crossing the road between Mpraeso and Nkwatia, and finds its way into the Afram River (Volta Lake).  The כkomfo wears a smock similar to those among the Guan of the North, as do many of the other gods (see Nana Duru, Tano Akomfo).  The smocks are popular with older gods, but not those as old as the ones  wearing raffia skirts.
..
..
..
..

Al Bartle Visits and Dances with Asuboni Komfo
.
The rattles used above as percussion instruments are made from the calabash fruit.
...


The shortest distance is not always a straight line
––»«––
Transport
Rail
Roads
The Afram
The Bartles in Ghana
Housing Technology
.
Bartles:  In The Rain Forest | Dancing With Gods | With The Queen Mother | Drinking Palm Wine | With Kontihene's Mother | On Trek | Dorothy and Albert | Bio.
Akan Religion; Introduction
The Spirit in Us; Overview.
Gods I; Tutelary Spirits;
Gods II; Nansing;
Gods III; Health and Fertility;
Gods IV; Ohantrase;
Ancestors I; Death and Beyond;
Ancestors II; Afahye;
Three Souls;
Black Linguist Staff;
Geographic Taboos;
Forty Days;
Swiss Missionaries;
Gyenyame.
Akan Religion - Introduction
 
Introduction; The Spirits In Us
Local Gods are Rivers, Mountains and Caves
Nansin, A River Inside a Cave
Health and Fertility, the Job of Gods
Afahye (Festival) in Ohantrase, Obo
Ancestors Were Once Elders
Festival at Ohantrase, Outside the Chief's Palace
   Three Souls
Linguist with Staff
Geographic Food Taboos
Forty Days 
Swiss Missionaries
Gyenyame = Unless God
.
Religion
Link to the Home Page of this web site