We are informed by researchers and scholars that for perhaps thousands of years the children in the Akan culture have been named after the day of the week upon which they were born.
One modern presentation of this African tradition is found in “Aakhuamuman Amaruka Atifi Mu” an organization directed to the Aakhuamu, an ethnic group who lives primarily in the West African countries of Ghana and Ivory Coast, as well as in the Americas, the Caribbean and Europe. Western practitioners of tVoodoo, Juju, Ngengang, Wanga and Hoodoo also fall under this umbrella.
Odwirafo Kweshi Ra Nehem Ptah Akan, the spiritual leader of this association has researched and written regarding the ancient Nile Valley civilization, which he claims is the origin for the spiritual beliefs of the Akan people. His 31 publications are offered as online as free eBooks and soft-cover booklets. Throughout the series great effort is taken to present elements of the Akan language and culture, which he freely compares to authentic Egyptian hieroglyphs.
The basic purpose of this naming ritual is that as Akan children are addressed by their Kradin they learn to recognize and express their Okraa/Okra or Soul nature. The more “tuned-in” children can be to their souls, the more guidance can be received and the better their lives become. According to Odwirafo understanding this Akan ritual rests upon the following three basic concepts:
|The Akradinbosom are solar, lunar and|
planetary bodies which govern the
seven-day Akan week. They are also
called the nnawotwe.
|It is from the Akradinbosom that the|
Akan people derive their akradin or
souls’-names which are also called
dadin (dah-deen’) or day-names. The
Abosom (singular) and Obosom (plural)
are the Deities, the Goddesses,
Gods, and the Forces of Creation.
|These seven deities are referred to as|
Nyamewaa-Nyame Mma, meaning the
Children of Nyamewaa, the Great Mother
and Great Father. They function together
as A Divine Unit –The Supreme Being.
Akradinbosom Vol I explains that each African child is given a Kradin (krah-deen) or soul name reflecting the nature of one of the seven deities governing the days of the week. It is said that before birth each Okra or soul is given “a purpose” to which it agrees to fulfill under the guidance of its individual Obosom. The influence of the Abosom in this world is pervasive. They operate through the many Suns, Moons, Stars, Planets, Oceans, Rivers, Mountains, Wind, Fire and even the Black Substance of Space comprising Abode or Creation.
The Akan Akradin Chart (on page 3) presents the seven planetary bodies and the days of the week they represent as Akwesida (the Sun ruing Sunday), Dwooda (the Moon ruling Monday); Benada (Mars ruling Tuesday); Wukunda (Mercury ruling Wednesday); Yawda (Jupiter ruling Thursday): Fida (Venus ruling Friday); and Memeneda (Saturn ruling Saturday). And it also lists the Soul Names for males and females along with dialect variations.
The remainder Akradinbosom Vol II – VI presents the rulers of each day of the week and despite the terminology is easy to understand. It must also be mentioned that there is unexpected darkness to consider. The author discourages the use of soul names among those who do not reside in Ghana or practice the Akan religion. He explains that “It must be understood that only Afurakani / Afurairkaitnit (African Black) people can utilize these akradin. The Abosom including Those Who govern the solar, lunar and planetary bodies and thus the energy and consciousness transmitted through these sound-vibrations / names do not communicate with nor recognize any non- Afurakanu/ non-Afuraitkaitnut in any fashion whatsoever. Afurakanu / Afuraitkaitnut are the only humans who have Okra.”
Elsewhere in his work Odwirafo states that “The use of these soul’s names or day names includes not only those Akan people on the continent of Afuraka / Afuraitkait (Africa), but also those Akan people who were forced into the western hemisphere during the Mmusuo Kese, the Great Perversity / Enslavement era. We thus find these names used in our populations in South America, Central America, the Caribbean and North America for hundreds of years during and after the Mmusuo Kese up to today. Akanfo Nanasom – Ancient Authentic Akan Ancestral Religion, was maintained by our Akan Ancestresses and Ancestors in our blood circles and transmitted intergenerationally and transcarnationally. It was our adherence to our Ancestral Religion which empowered and guided us to wage war against the whites and their offspring incessantly, massacre them on a large scale and force an end to enslavement in the western hemisphere including the United States.” and “No non-Afurkani/non Afuraitkaitnit (non-African ~ non-Black) individual or group including all White Europeans, White Americans, White Latinos/Latinas, White Hispanic, White Pseudo “Native Americans” who are actually migrant Asians, White Asians, White Arabs, White Hindu or any other have Okra/Okraa. They have no connection to Nyamewaa-Nyame, the Abosom or Divinity at all.”
It is difficult to say why anyone would represent human distinctions in such a rigid manner. Yes, at times, groups take it upon themselves to isolate, persecute or eradicate other groups with different beliefs and ways of living. And, yes, it is devastating to live with the fear of possible conquest, exploitation and extermination. And this dreadful situation is certain to continue until we enforce everyone’s innate right to “live and let live.” And then despite any OUTER differences there may be, we will have no difficulty recognizing the Okra or INNER Spirit in one another.
The real question is aren’t we all children of Nyanewaa and Nyame, regardless of the textures of our hair and the colors of our skin? It may be that other faiths experience and express their Okra in ways different than the Akan, but it is erroneous to say that only the Akan have souls.
|Joseph Kofi Antwi in his paper|
“The Value of a Person in Akan
Traditional Life” contradicts the idea
that the Akan think they are the
chosen people. He states that they
show respect to strangers irrespective
of their racial or ethnic backgrounds.
This idea of universal brotherhood
expressed in the Akan maxim
“Nnipanua ne nnipa” meaning
“Man’s brother is man.”
To the Akan, all humanity
REVIEW – Akan Soul Names
How does the naming of children after
the days of the week affect their lives?