ETHNIC AND CULTURAL GROUPS
Akan Women of Ghana
With it being Ghana’s Independence Day this past Monday on March 6th, and with today being international women’s day, I had to shout out the distinct culture of Ghana’s Akan women.
The Akan people are a majority ethnic group in Ghana. The Akan’s social hierarchy is built around the matriclan; where a person’s identity, inheritance, wealth, and politics are all determined from a common female ancestor. All matriclan founders are female, but men hold leadership positions within the society. These inherited leadership roles are passed down matrilineally, through a man’s mothers and sisters (and their children). The man is expected to support his own family, as well as support his female relatives.
Nnwonkoro is a genre of music sung by Akan women. The common themes of the songs are praise, love, and social commentary. Today, Nnwonkoro has adapted to contemporary culture, while retaining the essential elements of Akan culture.