BHM - The Ahshan
12 February 2013
Over at Thoughtcrime Games, they’re taking Black History Month and blogging topics specific to that. As part of this, Quinn issued this call. Today is my humble attempt to answer that call. The material I present here is largely based on Ashanti mythology with my own particular spin on it.
The Ahshan People
The Ahshan have always inhabited the region between the four sacred rivers. Prior to calling themselves the Ahshan, they simply viewed themselves as Akani. It wasn’t until Osei the King and his chief priest Okomfo gathered the people and declared war against the other Akani that the Ahshan people officially began.
The supreme god is Onyame, a sky god with three aspects. The first is Nyame, depicted as a female and representing the natural universe. The second is Nyankopon, depicted as male and representing the sun and its life-giving power. The third is Odamonkoma, neither male nor female and representing the creative force that the universe first sprang from.
From this god sprang 4 sons and a single daughter. Each of the sons represents one of the four major rivers running through the heart of the Ahshan empire. These four sons are Bia, Tano, Apo, and Bosomtwe. The daughter is Asaase Ya, a goddess of fertility.
Bia is a peaceful god and his river is calm and flows slowly throughout the year. Tano is turbulent the entire year, reflecting his nature as a god of war. Little is known of Apo and Bosomtwe, as these rivers flow through inhospitable regions of the empire.
Asaase Ye is a fertility goddess, but also watches over the barren places of the world. She has no temples, but her followers are known to build small shrines in fields to obtain her blessing.
In addition to these gods, the Ahshan also worship regional deities typically connected to the various city-states of the empire. The people also worship tree and animal spirits that serve the gods by preserving the natural order. The Ahshan believe that charms and talismans can be imbued with these spirits or even the spirits of their ancestors.
This has been a short introduction to the kind of mythology found on the continent of Africa. Students of myth will find interesting parallels between this and other more well-known mythological systems. What I’ve laid out here only scratches the surface of some really interesting beliefs and culture. For more reading, check out the following links: