- Akan names
Akan peopleof Ghanafrequently name their children after the day of the week they were born and the order in which they were born. These names have spread through West Africa, from Benin/Dahomey (Fon) and Togo(Ewe) to the Côte d'Ivoire( Baoulé), and throughout the African diaspora. For example, in Jamaicathe following day names have been recorded: Monday, "Cudjoe;" Tuesday, "Cubbenah;" Wednesday, "Quaco;" Thursday, "Quao;" Friday, "Cuffee;" Saturday, "Quamin;" Sunday, "Quashee." English translations of these names were used in the United Statesduring the nineteenth century; Robinson Crusoe's Friday may be conceptually related.
Most Ghanaians have at least one name from this system.
Ghana's first president, Kwame Nkrumah, was so named for being born on a Saturday "(Kwame)" and being the ninth born "(Nkrumah)." Also, the seventh Secretary-Generalof the United Nations, Kofi Annan, was so named for being born on a Friday "(Kofi)."
In the official orthography of the
Twilanguage, the Ashanti versions of these names as spoken in Kumasiare as follows. The diacritics on á a̍ à represent high, mid, and low tone (tone does not need to be marked on every vowel), while the diacritic on a̩ is used for vowel harmony and can be ignored. (Diacritics are frequently dropped in any case.) Variants of the names are used in other languages, or may represent different transliterationschemes. The variants mostly consist of different affixes (in Ashanti, "kwa-" or "ko-" for men and "a-" plus "-a" or "-wa" for women). For example, among the Fante, the prefixes are "kwe-" and "e-", respectively. Akan "d̩wo" is pronounced something like English "Joe", but there do appear to be two sets of names for those born on Tuesday.
Children are also given names when delivered under special circumstances.
* "One who loves" -Adofo
* "Ethnic"what -Hauhouot(owo)
* "Forceful" -Kumi
*J.E. Redden and N. Owusu (1963, 1995). "Twi Basic Course". Foreign Service Institute (Hippocrene reprint). ISBN 0-7818-0394-2
*Florence Abena Dolphyne (1996). "A comprehensive course in Twi (Asante) for the Non-Twi learner". Ghana Universities Press, Accra. ISBN 9964302452
* [http://www.akan.org/akan_cd/ALIAKAN/course/U-Akan.html Akan Teleteaching course]
* [http://www.sil.org/americas/suriname/Aukan/English/AukanEngLLIndex.html Aukan Library] (Ndyuka)
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