History The Posuban Shrines of Central Region

The Posuban Shrines of Central Region


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The Posuban Shrines are a unique feature of the central coastal region of Ghana; it is easy to find them in the oldest trading cities like Elmina, Mankessim and Anomabu.

 Mankessim Posuban Shrine

Mankessim Posuban Shrine

Many of these shrines have interesting statues and architecture.

One of such shrines is Mankessim Base Posuban in the Central Region unique to Ghana’s central coastal region. It is one of the towns well known for its busy market and Posuban Shrines. Posubans, are elaborate concrete shrines in the urban areas of Fante settlements.

The word “posuban” is a combination of the corrupted form of the English word “post” that is “posu” and the word “ban” meaning a fortification. A “posuban” is the religious center of an ASAFO company.

The front view of the great obromu posuban shrines that houses the ammunitions and drums and all other equipment that is associated with the asafo company. every image(statue has its religious and historical significance).

A statue at one of the numerous asafo shrines at mankessim, the man is holding a scale. the significance is that the warrior group weighs all his enemies before confronting them.the drummer (odomakoma okyerema) is an important individual in the Fantse tradition.

These three statues are very important to the Fantse community. they are the three great warriors. OBRUMANKOMA, ODAPAGYAN and OSONO.

Posuban Shrines
Posuban (cement shrine), building and sculpture by Kwamina Amoaku. Gomoa Mankesim, Fante, Ghana, 1979. Photo by Doran H. Ross.

In the past, the Asafo companies were responsible for the protection of a clan or a village, but over time they lost their military value and nowadays they are more important for their ceremonial role and for the weight they exert in art. in politics, rather than going to war.

The membership to an Asafo company, even today, is a tradition that is handed down from generation to generation in a patriarchal line among the Akan.


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