The Akan people of Ghana and Ivory Coast believe in a supreme god who takes on various names depending upon the region of worship. The highest god is called by some to be Brekyirihunuade ("he who knows and sees everything"), Otweidiampon, Okokroko, Onyame, Awurade, Odomankoma. There are no priests that serve him directly, and people believe that they may make direct contact with him.

According Akan mythology, at one time the god interacted with man, but that after being continually struck by the pestle of an old woman pounding fufu, a traditional Akan food, he moved far up into the sky.

The supreme being in the pantheon of the Ashanti is Nyame[1] (also Nyankopon), the omniscient, omnipotent sky god. He and Asase Ya, his wife, have two children: Bia and Tano. Asase Yaa is an earth goddess of fertility.

The creator of the universe in Ashanti mythology is Odomankoma.[2]

The Ashanti believe lower gods, more akin to spirits, assist humans on earth. Onyame was traditionally supposed to be aloof and away from the Earth. As the Ashanti adopted Christianity, they used the word Onyame for God.

Anansi the Spider is a folk hero who plays no role in Ashanti mythology. He is, however, prominent in Ashanti folktales where he is depicted as a trickster. Besides this focus on theism, Akan mythology shares animism and ancestor worship with the other African traditional religions: Spirits are known as abosom. They receive their power from the supreme god and are most often connected to the world as it appears in its natural state. These include ocean and river spirits and various local deities. Priests serve individual spirits and act as mediators between the gods and mankind. Nearly everyone participates in daily prayer, which includes the pouring of libations as an offering to both the ancestors who are buried in the land and to the spirits who are everywhere.

The earth is seen as a female deity and is directly connected to fertility and fecundity.

Finally there is he Nsamanfo (Ancestors). The Akan traditional religion pays respect to their ancestors.


See also

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