Until the year 1700, little or no history was written about the Kwawu People of Ghana. Geographically, the Kwawu State is bounded on the north by River Obosom and on the east by River Volta. It shares boundaries with the Akan States like Asante Akyem on the west with Akyem Kotoku and Akyem Abuakwa at the southern side. Kwawu shares a lot of similarities with the traditions of these neighbouring Akan States. Oral tradition speaks of three different kingdoms that were independently established in this Akan area. The empires were the Kowu Kingdom, Akoawu Kingdom and the Kodiabe Kingdom. These sovereignties existed in different territories far from one another.

Before the arrival of the Kowu Kingdom, the land was occupied by the Guans under the leadership of Atala Fiam, a very powerful King at the time. The excavation of Bosumpra cave around Kwawu Abetifi in 1944 by Smith affirms this fact. He protested the entry of the Kowus into their domain and therefore engaged in series of warfare with these trespassers.
The war continued for a long time until the Guans were defeated to mark the beginning of the settlement by the Kowu Kingdom. The emergence of Kwawu states on the Dutch Map of 1629 presupposes that, the Akoawu kingdom and Kowu Kingdom were founded before the reign of Ashantehene Oti Akenten of Oyoko clan between 1630 and 1660. This clearly illustrates the fact that before the rise of the Ashanti Empire under King Osei Tutu, the land of Kwawu had already been occupied and was in existence.

The early indigenous settlers in Kowu Kingdom included such individuals as Adamu Yanko, Kosa Brempon, Bransem Diawuo and Odiaboa who were said to be of the Aduana clan. The origin of these aborigines is uncertain but they were presumably associated with members of the Ataala Fiam group. The second group, Akoawu Kingdom, emerged from the Agona group of Denkyira led by two brothers, Osei Twum and Frimpong Manso. Osei Tuwm eventually settled at the present day Kwawu Bukuruwa while Frimpong Manso founded the Kotoku Traditional area. The third group, the Kodiabe Kingdom, and the current occupants of the Royal stool were led by Nana Akuamoah Mampong Agyei from the family of Esono Gyima of Ayaase in Ashanti Adanse.

Ankaase village near Abene Kwawu
Ankaase village near Abene Kwawu

Nana Esono Gyima left Adanse Ayaase together with his clan brothers and embarked on escaping the numerous wars that were plaguing the Adanse area by the then powerful Denkyira forces. The clan brothers like Nana Boahene Anantuo, Nana Mposo Frimpong and Nana Adu Gyamfi settled at Mampong-Ashanti, Ashanti Effiduase and Ashanti Gyamase respectively. Till today, these three ancestral homes of the Tena-Bretuo clan-brothers maintain amiable spirit of brotherhood. Nana Esono Gyima could not further his journey to the mountainous area of Kwawu as planned, and instead settled at Tokwaboho, a village near Ashanti Effiduase where he later died. At Tokwaboho, Nana Gyima was enstooled a sub-chief under the kingship of Nana Atakora Panin and so as tradition demands, his nephew Nana Akuamoa Mampong Agyei succeeded him as a sub-chief. But he was scared to participate in the wars between Juaben and Asante Mampong on the one hand and between Yeji and Asante Mampong on the other. At the request of Nana Atakora Panin of Ashanti Mampong, Nana Akuamoa Mampong Agyei and his followers left Tokwaboho to temporarily settle at Hwidiem in Ashanti Akim. Nana Ohemen, who was a sub-chief under Nana Ameyaw of Effiduase was invited by Nana Mampong Agyei to accompany him to Hwidiem because of his dexterity at war front. Surprisingly, at Hwidiems Nana Akuamoa Mampong Agyei created wing positions for his followers. Obirimfa Ahue was made Gyasehene, Kwame Onini Afari became Benkumhene and Ohemen whose skill at war was praise-worthy, became Osafohene, (the Front Guard). Nana Mampong Agyei himself retained the leadership as the Paramount Chief. Later, Ohemen, the great warrior became the chief of Abetifi. It is no surprise that Abetifi stool, till today, is tagged with the title, Adontenhene of Kwahu Traditional area. Nana Akuamoa Mampong Agyei married Obenewaa Bona, a royal family member of Kwame Onini Afari who later founded Kwawu Aduamoa. Since then, this traditional marriage relationship has hypothetically existed in the living memory of every Omanhene of Kwawu and the royal lineage of Aduamoa.

At Hwiediem, the then founder of Ashanti Akim, Frempong Manso, demanded Akuamoa Mampong Agyei swore an oath of allegiance before him; a move which Mampong Agyei rejected and therefore decided to move farther up to the Dwerebe Hill towards the Kodiabe Kingdom. This new settlement initially called OKwawu Mampong, (named after Nana Akuamoa Mampong Agyei) was later called Ankaase. Nana Mampong Agyei’s brave scout left Ankaase for a distance of about two miles to discover the present day location at the bank of river Subiri. This new spot was named Abene after (the originator) Odiabene. Abene continues to be the capital town of Kwawu Traditional Area and the seat of the Paramount Chief of Kwahu. According to Nana Simpeh Wiredu II, Okwawu Krontihene, by way of preventing wars and destoolments, Nana Akuamoa Mampong Agyei appointed his clan brothers as sub-chiefs under his Paramountcy. The royal stool of Kwawu and the major sub-chiefs of Abene such as the Krontihene, Adehyehene, Akwamuhene, Akyeamehene are all members of the Tena clan and descendants of Mampong Agyei family members who accompanied him. History holds it that, Nana Akuamoa Mampong Agyei lived for several years till he miraculously disappeared towards the top of one big tree called Odadee.

Late Okwawuhemaa Abena GyamfuaaII

The site has since been passionately remembered and occasionally worshiped by a fetish priest called Ampongagyei Komfo. Immediately following Nana Mampong Agyei was Nana Diawuo whose name is accredited to the stool as the initiator who carved and engraved it. The Stool therefore is traditionally called, ‘ Esono Gyima and Mampong Agyei -akongua’. It is engraved with silver and two crossed elephant tusks symbolizing the ‘Wealth of Kwahu State’. In resemblance to the silver stool of Kwahu State is that of the Ashanti Mampong which similarly belongs to the Tena-Bretuo clan. The present paramount chief, Daasebre Akuamoa Boateng II, is the eighteenth in succession to the ‘Esono Gyima and Mampong Agyei.Stool’; with Nana Akuamoa Mampong Agyei being the first followed by Nana Diawuo. The relationship between Adanse Ayaaase, Ashanti Mampong and Kwahu Abene goes back to the fifteenth century that is before 1600
Daasebre Akuamoa Boateng II is the current occupant of the Kwawu royal stool and a direct descendant of Esono Gyima and Akuamoa Mampong Agyei Stool of the Etena/Bretuo Clan. He was born to Okwawuhemaa Nana Abena Gyamfua II and the late MpraesoHene, Nana Ampadu. He is a true royal, having both of his parents from the royal lineages of Kwawu traditional area. OKwawuhene, Daasebre Akuamoah Boateng II is a lawyer by profession and former chairman of Ghana Cocoa Board. He was installed Paramount chief of Kwawu on 26th October 1971.
As the President of Kwahu Traditional Area, he was once the President of Eastern Regional House of Chiefs; a position he has held for 2 consecutive periods. He was further elected Vice President of the National House of Chiefs from 1985 to 1988 when the late Otumfuo Opoku Ware II was the President.

The late Okwawu Hemaa (Queen-mother) is also a direct descendant of Esono Gyima and Mampong Agyei Stool. She was enstooled in 1928, at the age of 12, but official installation ceremony was performed in 1932. She ruled and occupied the Queen-mother stool for over 73 years. Obviously, she is one of the longest serving queen mothers in Ghana. She died in 2010.

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