Linguist Staffs in Ghana  

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Linguist's staff (Okyeame poma) Magnificent gold-covered staffs are carried by high-ranking officials within the courts of Akan chiefs in Ghana. The Akan place an enormous emphasis on speech. The spoken word, in the form of axioms; proverbs and stories, is the repository of Akan custom and values. A complete mastery of proverbial lore, combined with an eloquent and insightful way of conveying it, is considered the mark of intellect of highly esteemed individuals. Those who possess this knowledge and an articulate command of language may be appointed as court linguists, the most important non-royal court officials. Court linguists play an invaluable role in Akan circles of leadership. Their vast knowledge and superior diplomacy make them essential as counselors, ambassadors, legal experts, and historians. The finials of the linguist’s staffs commonly illustrate proverbs and axioms that assert the ruler's legitimacy and capabilities or praise the ruler's experience and sagacity. At public functions, the okyeame (linguist) carries a staff (or mace) of authority. The staff is usually carved from wood and may be coated with gold leaf. Usually the top part of the staff is a symbol designed to communicate specific messages either about the status and authority of the okyeame or the message he, as a diplomat, is authorized to convey on behalf of the king at specific public functions.

Ma ku Mbôngi, ka matômbulawanga za ko. "The community's political institution does not borrow foreign dialects to discuss its political matters or to educate its' members" – Kikôngo proverb “The history of Africa will remain suspended in air and cannot be written correctly until African historians connect it with the history of Egypt [...] The African historian who evades the problem of Egypt is neither modest or objective, nor unruffled, he is ignorant, cowardly, and neurotic.” – Cheikh Anta Diop, The African Origin of Civilization: Myth or Reality "African champions must break the chain that links African ideas to European ones and listen to the voice of the ancestors without European interpreters." – Jacob Carruthers, Mdw Ntr
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Posted : 11/06/2006 2:24 pm
(@obadelekambon)
Most BlackNificent Afrikan! Admin
Abibifahodie Wura!
Abibisika (Black Gold):8648

FAMILY STAFF

AKAN CULTURAL SYMBOLS PROJECT

© G. F. Kojo Arthur and Robert Rowe - 1998-2001

WOOD CARVINGS ADWA-STOOL POMA-STAFF FURNITURE AND CARVED DOOR DOLLS/COMBS UMBRELLA FINIALS

The okyeame is the king's counselor, confidant, orator and diplomat. The term linguist does not fully capture the role and functions of the okyeame in the rich cultural heritage of the Akan.

At public functions, the okyeame carries a staff (or mace) of authority. The staff is usually carved from wood and may be coated with gold leaf. Usually the top part of the staff is a symbol designed to communicate specific messages either about the status and authority of the okyeame or the message he, as a diplomat, is authorized to convey on behalf of the king at specific public functions.

A collection of Akyeame Mpoma (Linguists' staffs)

OKYEAME POMA
(LINGUIST'S STAFF)

Sankofa


OBAKOFOO MMU OMAN - ONE PERSON DOES NOT RULE A NATION

OBAKOFOO MMU OMAN - ONE PERSON DOES NOT RULE A NATION

Symbol of PARTICIPATORY DEMOCRACY, WARNING AGAINST DICTATORIAL RULE, and PLURALITY OF IDEAS

From the maxim: Obakofoo mmu oman.

Literal translation: One person does not rule a nation.

The Akan belief is that democratic rule requires consultation, open discussion, consensus building, and coalition formation. The use of the Queen mother as a co-ruler and the Council of state or council of elders are examples of Akan forms of participatory democracy depicted by this symbol.


NEA ADUANE WO NO - THE FOOD OWNER

NEA ADUANE WO NO - THE FOOD OWNER

Symbol of PROPERTY RIGHTS and INHERITANCE RIGHTS.
From the maxim: Nea aduane wo no na odi, na nnye nea okom de no a.
Literal translation: It is the rightful owner of the food who gets to eat it, not the hungry person.
Property belongs to its rightful owner, not the desperate person in need.

The symbol depicts the Akan notion that rules of succession are not based on need; they are based on rightful access.


ASEMPA YE TIA - TRUTH IS BRIEF

ASEMPA YE TIA - TRUTH IS BRIEF

Symbol of PEACE AND STABILITY, ELOQUENCE, DIPLOMACY, BREVITY OF SPEECH, and TRUTH

From the maxim: Asem pa ye tia.

Literal translation: A good case is argued in brief. Truth in argument need not belabored.

This staff symbolizes the diplomatic essence of the okyeame as the one who stands for peace stability in society. It also represents the skill of the okyeame to utilize the power of the spoken word in conflict resolution such as in court cases and in diplomatic negotiations to ensure peace and stability.


SANKOFA - GO BACK AND RETRIEVE

SANKOFA - GO BACK AND RETRIEVE

Symbol of WISDOM, KNOWLEDGE, and the PEOPLE'S HERITAGE

From the aphorism: Se wo were fi na wosan kofa a, yenkyi.

Literal translation: There is nothing wrong with learning from hindsight.

The symbol is based on a mythical bird that flies forwards with its head turned backwards. This reflects the Akan belief that the past serves as a guide for planning the future, or the wisdom in learning from the past in building the future.

The Akan believe that there must be movement with times but as the forward march proceeds, the gems must be picked from behind and carried forward on the match.


BOTIRE - THE HEAD

BOTIRE - THE HEAD

From the proverb: Botire da nkwan mu a, ennyera.
Literal translation: The head of an animal is never lost in a soup.

Anybody of significance does not get lost in a crowd. Anything of importance stands out on its own merit


AHAHAN - LEAVES

AHAHAN - LEAVES

Symbol of KNOWLEDGE, INTELLIGENCE and CRITICAL REASONING
From the maxim: Konini ne besepa ahahan yetase no obanyansafoo.
Literal translation: The difference between the leaves of the white and red cola trees is only discerned by the wise and knowledgeable child.

W'ASO ANTE A, W'ANI SO AHU?

W'ASO ANTE A, W'ANI SO AHU?

From the expression: W'aso ante a, w'ani so ahu?
Literal translation: If you did not hear it, couldn't you also see it?


HYEN - BOAT

HYEN - BOAT

Symbol of COOPERATION or JOINT EFFORT
From the proverb: Hyen yekwan no afanu a, na eko akotrenee.
Literal translation: Paddling the boat on both sides makes it go straight.


FAMILY STAFF

ABUSUA POMA

AKAN CULTURAL SYMBOLS PROJECT


The Akan lineage organization comprises matrilineal clans (mmusua,
pl.; abusua, sing.) that have major and minor segments. The clans (mmusua) number seven in total. In various places different names may be used for one and the same abusua. Sometimes, even in the same place, more than one name may be used to refer to same abusua or its minor segment. This leads to some writers to give the erroneous interpretations that Akan mmusua number more than seven.

Each abusua is identified both by its proper name and its common emblem, totem or symbol. The beretuo (twidan) abusua's totem is the leopard (etwie or osebo). The aduana (atwea, ntwea, aowin, aborade, or adwinade) is represented by the dog (kraman, bodom) or frog (atwere or aponkyerene). The kona (asokore, ekoona or adonten) abusua is represented by the water buffalo (ekoo).

The oyoko (daku, yogo, yoko, oweko, or anona) abusua is represented by the hawk (akroma or asansaa). The parrot (akoo) represents the agona abusua, while the whale (bonsu) or the bat (apane) represents the asinie abusua. Asona (odum, odum-na, dwum or dwumina) abusua is represented by the crow, white crested raven (adene or akonkron).


Agona Abusua Poma

Agona Abusua Poma

The parrot is the totem for the Agona abusua. It is a symbol of eloquence and frankness.


Bretuo or Twidan Abusua Poma

Bretuo or Twidan Abusua Poma

The leopard (etwie or osebo) represents the Twidan or Bretuo Abusua. It is a symbol of bravery and skill.


Asinie Abusua Poma

Asinie Abusua Poma

The bat is the symbol of the Asinie abusua.


Kona, Asokore or Adonten Abusua Poma

Kona, Asokore or Adonten Abusua Poma

The water buffalo is the totem for the Kona, Asokore or Adonten Abusua. It is a symbol of might and dexterity.


Aduana or Aborade Abusua Poma

Aduana or Aborade Abusua Poma

The dog (otwea or kraman) represents the Aduana or Aborade Abusua. The dog symbol represents humility and friendliness. The plantain tree is also used to represent this abusua. The plantain symbol represents fertility. The frog (aponkyerenee) is another symbol of the aduana abusua.


Asona Abusua Poma

Asona Abusua Poma

The white crested raven or crow (akonkran) is the symbol of the asona abusua. It is the symbol of the purity of heart and eloquence.

Ma ku Mbôngi, ka matômbulawanga za ko. "The community's political institution does not borrow foreign dialects to discuss its political matters or to educate its' members" – Kikôngo proverb “The history of Africa will remain suspended in air and cannot be written correctly until African historians connect it with the history of Egypt [...] The African historian who evades the problem of Egypt is neither modest or objective, nor unruffled, he is ignorant, cowardly, and neurotic.” – Cheikh Anta Diop, The African Origin of Civilization: Myth or Reality "African champions must break the chain that links African ideas to European ones and listen to the voice of the ancestors without European interpreters." – Jacob Carruthers, Mdw Ntr
Ọbádélé Kambon, PhD Email: info@abibitumi.com Skype: obadele.kambon Paypal: www.paypal.me/akali Abibifahodie Family of Websites:
www.obadelekambon.com | www.abibitumikasa.com | www.abibifahodie.com | www.abibifahodie.org www.sankofajourney.com | www.letsbuyblack.com | www.asaseheals.com www.kamaukambon.org | www.amakambon.com | www.bennucenter.com www.nubusinesssolutions.com | www.onipa.com | www.lastblackman.com
 

Ọbádélé Kambon's Personal app for Android
Abibitumi Kasa Social Education Network App for Android
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Posted : 08/03/2008 1:26 am

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