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Forty Days: The Akan Calendar

  • Philip F. W. Bartle


Several attempts have been made to understand the development if not the origin of Akan culture in terms of the diffusion of (a) traits from the north which were taken south with the expansion and disintegration of the great savanna trading empires and the southward migration of Mande Dyula merchants and (b) traits which were already present prior to that migration in a large area once populated mainly by Guan in the Ivory Coast, Ghana, and Togo, and today populated for the most part by Akan, Adanbe, and Ewe. The mixing of these cultural traits and the point of origin for the Akan expansion appear, to have taken place along a trade route stretching from the Sahara to the Atlantic coast, close to the site of Begho near Wenchi in the Bono Techiman state (Boahen 1966; Goody 1959, 1966, 1968; Wilks 1962).



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Boahen, K. Adu 1966The origins of the Akan,’ Ghana Notes and Queries 9: 310.
Busia, K. A. 1951 The Position of the Chief in the Modern Political System of Ashanti. Gold Coast Government, reprinted for Oxford University Press by Cass, London.
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Fortes, M. 1963 ‘The submerged descent line in Ashanti,’ in Schapera, I. (ed.) Studies in Kinship and Marriage. Royal Anthropological Institute, London.
Goody, J. R. 1959Ethno-history and the Akan of Ghana,’ Africa 29 (I): 6781.
Goody, J. R. 1963Ethnological notes on the distribution of the Guan languages,’ Journal of African Languages 2 (3).
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Lumsden, D. P. 1973 Nchumuru Social Organization and the Impact of the Volta River Project. Unpublished Ph.D. thesis, University of Cambridge.
Rattray, R. S. 1923 Ashanti. Clarendon Press, Oxford.
Wilks, I. 1961Burukung,’ Ghana Notes and Queries 1(1): 1112.
Wilks, I. 1962A mediaeval trade route from the Niger to the Gulf of Guinea,’ Journal of African History 3 (2).
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  • ISSN: 0001-9720
  • EISSN: 1750-0184
  • URL: /core/journals/africa
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