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Akan

Known for their gold and their tremendous spirit the Akan people are an ethnic group that encompasses many sub groups such as the Ashanti and the Agona.  They live in Ghana and speak variations of the Tiwi language, known for their art and jewelry making the Akan are truly an amazing people with a rich heritage.  

The Akan are an event-oriented culture with different rituals and ceremonies governing and promoting structure to their life.  There are birth and naming ceremonies as well as elaborate rituals for various life stages.

The Akan people have a history of intense turmoil and uproar.  Because the country of Ghana is rich in gold and natural resources, the Akan first experienced conflict with their Arab neighbors to the north.  Then came rounds of tribal fighting and then the European invasions.  The Portuguese first came around the fifteenth century.  Then other Europeans came in pursuit of gold and later on for slaves.  The ivory coast became one of the key areas from which to transport slaves to Europe and the Americas.  

Kente fabric has actually been in circulation since around 10,000 years ago beginning in ancient Egypt.  The term actually comes from the Egyptian word Kenten which means basket.  In Africa it is worn as a royal and ceremonial fabric which is worn for very important occasions.  Kente fabric has many different meanings and is representative of social and historical thought.

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