Akwantu Kese is a festival celebrated by the people of Suma in the Jaman North of the Brong Ahafo Region in Ghana. It was instituted among other things to commemorate the historical journey of the ancestors of Suma and Gyaman from the Akwamu in the Eastern Region to their present location.
Brief Outline of the History of the Suma Traditional Area
The Gyaman Kingdom, in its present state, exists as separate traditional states in the Brong-Ahafo Region of Ghana and in the mid-eastern of the Republic of Cote devoir. The Gyaman states in Ghana, located in the Gyaman North south Districts are: Drobo, Dwenem, Japekrom, Sampa, Seketia and Suma.
According to oral tradition, ancestors of the Gyaman people left their original home in Akwamu near river Volta due to family dissension and settled at their present location after sojourning in different places including Suntreso and Nsoatre in the Ashanti and Brong-Ahafo Regions respectively.
Until 1896 when the border demarcation between the British and the French colonialists separated the Gyaman state into British and French Gyaman, the entire Gyaman kingdom was headed by the Gyamanhene also known as the Bonohene who now resides in the Republic of Cote devoir.
Despite the border demarcation, the Gyaman people in Ghana and those in Cote devoir have maintained their cultural links up to the present day with the Gyamanhene as the facto leader of the Gyaman people although he resides in the Republic of Cote devoir.
During important state functions in Ghana such as celebration of the creation of the BrongAhafo Region and major festivals, the Gyamanhene, whose official title in cote devoir is Bonohene, is invited. He also plays important roles in settling of disputes among the Gyaman states in Ghana.