THE HISTORY OF ESIAMA

This is the origin of the Nzema people of Esiama. Esiama is one of the major towns in the Ellembelle District, in the Western Region of Ghana. It coordinates are: 4o55’58. 0’’N 2o20’49.0”W and an elevation of 18m (59ft).4Oral traditions among the elders of Ainoo Kwagyan Royal Stool in Esiama are unanimous on the point that their founding ancestors lived somewhere along the N’zi river in modern day Ivory Coast . This Nzi-River runs parallel to the Comoe River.

The story of the Esiama people began with the Guans especially the Shuoyi and Ndenye people living around the Nzi-River. Ndenye means men of war or warriors. This is because ‘Nde’ means people and ‘nye’ means warriors in the Guan dialect. The people of Esiama originally spoke the Guan language because they are Guans hence their leader was described as such Ainoo Kwaw,
the son of the Guan (Ainoo kwaw Guan) was adulterated to ‘Ainoo Kwagyan’. Guans can further be divided into two groups based on their inheritance, namely:

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TOTEMISM IN GHANA

The occupant and the custodian of the stool of Esiama is the Ainoo Kwagyan Ezohile (Asona) family and entitle to the stool lands of Esiama. The Totem of the family is the crow. According to Okyeame Ampadu-Agyei, a renowned Ghanaian conservationist, “the term ‘totem’ comes from a North American Indian language that refers to vegetables or animals which are revered by individuals, particularly group of people or an ethnic group as sacred. A totem can be an animal, a plant or any other natural object believed to be ancestrally related to a tribe, clan, or family group as a tutelary spirit. The totem system or totemism serves to identify different geographic and dialectic identities by associating each group with a natural species, usually an animal”. Plants and other natural items are also regarded as totemic.

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