Historian calls for protection of indigenous knowledge

BY: Seth J. Bokpe, ACCRA
The interim executive being inaugurated by the chiefs and elders
The interim executive being inaugurated by the chiefs and elders

Ghana’s youth have been urged to protect the country’s indigenous knowledge and culture as abandoning them in the name of modernity will be detrimental.

Ewe Historian, Agbotadua Torgbui Kumasah, who made the call, said many young people today suffered from identity crisis because they considered Western culture superior to indigenous culture.

“Our culture is very important and in the past reflected in the names given our children. Today, we are giving our children English names which do not reflect our identity.

“When you mention your name, it should be easy to tell where you are coming from,” he said in Accra on Saturday, at the launch of Duklui Attipoe Dzidzimeviwo fe Haborbor, a union dedicated to promoting the development of Anyako, the Anlo State and the Duklui Attipoe Royal Family.  

Torgbui Kumasah, who is also a traditional leader in the Anlo state, observed that many Ghanaians today considered Ghanaian culture and tradition as values of illiterates yet forgot that the local foods they enjoyed were products of the same ‘illiterates.’

Torgbui Kumasah who traced the genealogy of the Anlos right from their migration from Notsie in present day Togo, to their descendants today, said it was important that young people knew their history and heritage

History
The union is open to descendants of Torgbui Duklui Attipoe I, a renowned traditional ruler, hunter and warlord from Anyako in the Volta Region who fought many wars including one to abolish the Slave Trade.

He was also one of the many chiefs who signed the 1876 Dzelukope Treaty that paved the way for the creation of the Eastern Province of the Gold Coast. Such was his bravery that the British named him ‘War Captain’.  For his exploits and leadership, Torgbui Attipoe was presented with a globe and a top hat by Queen Victoria of Britain.

Apart from his huge cotton farms at Keta and Anyako, he was also a merchant, who used his vast knowledge of herbs to produce very attractive colours used as dyes for his batik business.

He died in 1903, leaving behind 11 wives and many children.

The union was, therefore, launched as a platform to unite his descendants.

Heritage
Speaking at the ceremony, Torgbui Duklui V of Anyako said it was the duty of the family to preserve, sustain and uplift the bequeathed heritage in order to dignify the reputation of the family.

“In fact, quality human resource base determines the fast growth of every nation and society, if those human resources are identified and well harnessed. It is in the light of these obvious reasons that even nations join forces with one another to form sub-regional, regional and continental bodies such as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), African Union, European Union to unite, collaborate and work towards common goals and aspirations since there is strength in unity,” he said.

He, therefore, challenged members of the Duklui Attipoe family everywhere, irrespective of their age, to take active interest in the association to uplift the image of the family, stool, the Anlo Traditional Area and Ghana as a whole.

A 14-member interim executive body, led by Mr Mark Attipoe, was sworn in to handle the affairs of the association before substantive members are elected.

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