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LEARN YOUR RICH CULTURAL HERITAGE: WHAT IS AN AKAN APAGYA SONG?

Dear All,

Ghana/Africa is blessed with rich cultural heritage from all the diverse tribes. But how well do we learn and share our rich cultural heritage as people?

‘Apagya’ is a Twi word which means uplifting. This is a special song that is used to uplift the spirit of an Akan chief/king during occasions. It is specially coded appellations that contain the history, great oath and achievements of the chief and his ancestors. This song is also used as interludes during state functions in Akan, Ghana.

“se wo were firi wo kurom hene aben a, woyera wo dwabo ase,” which is translated, “if you forget the horn/appellations of your king, you get lost at durbars.” Apagya is also used as a procession song for kings. It easily helps to fish out strangers at a durbar. People who are not able to sing the song are mostly regarded as strangers. A royal who does not know the apagya of his king is no better than a stranger.

REASONS WHY YOU NEED TO PAY ATTENTION TO APAGYA SONGS DURING OCCASSIONS.

1: Apagya songs help us to know the true title (Odeefour, Otumfuor, Kuntunkunku, etc) of the king. In Akan, kings are addressed by their titles. So it is very important to know the title of the king at the occassion.

2: Apagya songs contain the great oath (ntam) of the king and his ancestors. Every Akan chief has an oath that reminds them of a great cataclysmic event that happened in the past. Apagya songs mostly contain such oaths. Examples: Denkyira Great Oath is Fiada ne Denkyira meaning Friday is Denkyira. But Asante Great Oath is Ntamkesie Miensa, Kromantse, ne Memenda.

3:It helps strangers to know the ruling clan of the kingdom/town. Some Akan clans are Aduana, Agona, Asona, Ekoona, Asakyiri, Oyokoo, etc.

4: Apagya song is a medium to tell important history of the king.

watch an apagya song below. Thank you very much.

EpistlesofBoadu.com: the voice for development, environment and culture.

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