A Mother's Place in Ashanti Culture




From Ghana, this proverb says: "When a woman is hungry, she says, Roast something for the children that they may eat." The Ashanti are one of Africa's matrilineal societies; which means that the line of descent is traced through the female. In the Ashanti world, the father takes care of his children, serves as a role model, and shares his property among his children and sister. The mothers take care of their childrens property, while the children care for their mother. The father's role was to cause the conception and provides the nkra or the soul of the child. This means that the child received its life force, character, and personality traits from the father. A child is believed to receive its flesh and blood (mogya) from his or her mother. Though not considered as important as the mother, the male interaction continues in the place of birth after marriage.