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[Know Your Roots] Are Ewe’s Truly Ghanaians?

According to oral tradition the Ewe’s in Ghana migrated from the Middle East, through to Togoland under the ruler-ship of King Agorkorli whose tyranny they escaped and now re-settling at their present location. Ewe’s occupy southeastern Ghana and the southern parts of neighboring Togo and Benin. On the west, the Volta separates the ewe from the Ga-Adangbe, Ga and Akan. Subdivisions of the Ewe include the Anlo on the coast, Gbi, Akpini, Ave, Tongu and Asogli in the interior.

With a rich cultural milieu, ewe’s were predominantly farmers but specialized in other crafts for livelihood. “Akple” is the main food of the Ewe’s, and the “agbadza” dance by the Anlo’s is key in identifying the Ewe with.

Hogbetsotso dance
Hogbetsotso dance

The Trans-Volta Togoland

The Germans defeat in the First World War lead to the partition of German colonies. One portion was placed under the protectorate of the British and became known as the British Togo, now the Volta region of Ghana and home to the Ewes. The other, under French protectorate, became the French Togo, now the Republic of Togo. Both Togo lands under the British and French protection at the time were under the umbrella and supervision of the trusteeship council of the League of Nations, now the United Nations.

Western and Eastern Togolands
Western  Togolands General Assembly

The British Trusteeship was administered by the Governor of the then Gold Coast and French half was administered by its own governor appointed by the French who both reported directly to the Trusteeship Council of the League of Nations. In 1954, the United Nations sent a visiting team to the British-Togoland, which recommended a plebiscite to be held in the 1956 to decide on the wishes of the people on the issues of whether the Trust territory should be integrated into, or secede from, the Gold Coast. (GOVERNMENT OF GHANA, 2016)

Results of the plebiscite was not decisive, however, when it became clear that the Gold Coast was to become independent in 1957, the British Government formally informed the Trusteeship Council that it would not be possible for the Britain to administer the British protectorate, the Trans-Volta Togoland separately, after the Gold Coast. After Ghana attained independence, the Parliament of Ghana adopted a resolution to merge and integrate the Western part of Trans Volta Togo with Ghana, under the name Volta Region.

Photo Credit: (Hogbetsotso dance) graphic.com.gh

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