Saturday, 2 August 2014

Interesting Facts about Ghana from the Listverse Website.....




10 Little-Known Facts About the Ancient Romans
Fact: Sinister Left-Handed People

Left-handed people have gotten a bad rap all throughout history. Early Europeans used the term left-handed to refer to homosexuals.

In Ghana if you point with your left hand it’s considered an offense, and in ancient Rome left-handed people were considered unlucky and untrustworthy. The word sinister actually comes from the original Latin meaning for left, and over time the negativity associated with left-handed people pushed the meaning more towards evil.

Interestingly enough, left-handed gladiators were treated like special bonuses—left-handed people used different fighting styles, so it made the combat more interesting and varied
 Source: http://listverse.com/2013/02/08/10-little-known-facts-about-the-ancient-romans/




10 Lesser-Known Dragon Slayings From Legend
This is the only African tale on this list, taking place in what is modern-day Ghana. In the town of Wagadu, in ancient times, the people had made a deal with a dragon called Bida. They fed the dragon ten young maidens each year, and in return Bida made it rain gold three times annually. The town chief Lagarre, grandson of the chief that had originally made the deal, was able to renegotiate this to just one maiden a year in return for the same three rainfalls of gold. Eventually, it became the turn of the most beautiful maiden in the kingdom, Sia Jatta Bari, to be fed to the beast. She was dressed in wedding garb, and led out to the dragon’s lair.

Sia’s lover, Mamadi Sefe Dekote, had other ideas. He rode dutifully with the procession, but secretly harbored a plan of his own. He knew that it was the dragon’s custom to stick its head out of his cave three times, before snatching its meal on the third. As Bida’s head came out for the final time, Mamadi struck the dragon, killing it, and saving Sia. Celebrations all round, right?
Not quite. It turned out that the people had become quite used to the rainfall of gold provided by Bida—so they chased both Mamadi and Sia out of Wagadu. Also, it seems that Sia didn’t love Mamadi quite as much as he loved her, and tricked him into cutting off a finger and a toe. She then declared that she couldn’t love anyone who didn’t possess a full compliment of digits.

Mamadi was understandably upset by this point. He presumably reminded Sia that he’d killed a dragon for her, but ultimately turned to a witch for a love potion, which made Sia fall instantly in love with him. Mamadi then tricked Sia into sleeping with one of his servants—and when she realized what she’d done, she died instantly of pure shame.
Source: http://listverse.com/2013/05/19/10-lesser-known-dragon-slayings-from-legend/




10 Incredible True Stories About Twins

Ryan—born on July 11, 2005—has light skin and blue eyes, whereas his twin brother Leo has dark skin and brown eyes. The father of the two boys is a caucasian German man, while their mother is a dark-skinned woman from Ghana. This has actually happened multiple times: in 2005, twin girls of different races were born to an interracial couple. And in 2006, a mixed-race woman named Kerry Richardson gave birth to light-skinned twins—one of whom grew darker as she aged, and the other of whom grew lighter.
Source: http://listverse.com/2013/05/25/10-incredible-true-stories-about-twins/



20 Fantastically Named People ---Prince Octopus Dzanie
Prince Octopus is an amateur boxer from Ghana who competed in the 2008 Summer Olympics and the 2006 Commonwealth Games
Source: http://listverse.com/2008/09/08/20-fantastically-named-people/




10 Amazing Women Who Led Rebellions

Yaa Asantewaa, described as the African Joan of Arc, was Queen Mother of the Edweso region, part of the former Asante Kingdom and now modern-day Ghana. Born around 1830, she was the sister of Kwasi Afrane Panin, who became chief of Edweso when Yaa was young. From the nearby Gold Coast, the British led a campaign of control against the Asante Empire, taxing, converting and taking control of large areas of their tribal land, including gold mines.

When the Asante began to resist British rule, the British Governor, Lord Hodgson, demanded that they turn over their Golden Stool, used as a throne and symbol of independence. To enforce his demands, Captain C.H. Armitage was sent to bully the population. Armitage went from village to village, beating children and adults alike in the hopes of obtaining the stool. Eventually, the King of Asante, Nana Osei Agyeman Prempeh I, along with 55 of his chiefs and relatives, were forced into exile.

Shortly after, on March 28, 1900, what was left of the monarchy was assembled and the British Captain demanded the Stool. Yaa, the only woman present, gave a famous speech to the British in which she stated that she refused to pay any more of their taxes. She also offered her undergarments in exchange for the loinclothes of any male Asante chief not willing to fight tyrannical Imperial rule.

This speech caused the Yaa Asantewaa War for Independence to break out on the same day. As the revolution’s leader, Yaa assembled a personal army of more than 4,000 soldiers. For three months, she was able to lay siege to the British fort at Kumasi. After sustaining casualties in the initial fighting, British reinforcements from Nigeria had to be called in to deal with the troublesome Yaa. Through superior technology, scorched land tactics, and financial rewards for traitors, the Queen Mother was arrested on March 3, 1901. She was sent into exile where she eventually died at 90.
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Nanny Of The Maroons
Nanny, featured on the Jamaican $500 bill, was the leader of a group of slaves who revolted against their British oppressors. Queen Nanny was born into slavery sometime during the 1680s, a child of the Gold Coast, which is now Ghana. At some point Nanny, reportedly of royal blood, was able to escape a British colony on Jamaica and lead a group of slaves into the inner mountainous areas of the island. Soon, large communities of ex-slaves, now calling themselves Maroons, had formed. Nanny Town, founded around 1723, was the first and by far the largest of these communities. From this town, Nanny was able to lead raids against plantations in order to liberate the slaves.

However, her revolution quickly captured the attention of the British. A series of campaigns against the troublesome Maroons were launched, and Nanny was forced to lead her people in a guerilla defense operation. To exploit the defensiveness nature of inland Jamaica, Nanny ensured that Maroon settlements were built high into the mountains. Often, they had only a single approach, meaning that attacking British soldiers were easily picked off by small numbers of Maroons, to whom Nanny had taught the art of camouflage.

Nanny Town itself was attacked on a number of occasions, in 1730, 1731, 1732, and several times in 1734. One British attack in 1734 succeeded in capturing the settlement, which forced Nanny and the survivors to flee and found a new camp, from which they proved just as defiant. Some historians suggest that Nanny was trained in the art of catching bullets with her hands. Whilst others, mainly the British, seeking to discredit Nanny, claim she caught bullets with her buttocks and farted them back out.

Although Nanny and her people faced nearly constant attack and hunger, they remained united and strong against the British under her rule. From 1739–40, the British signed a peace treaty with the Maroons, giving them 500 acres of land to call their own. Nanny, a Jamaican national hero, is credited with preserving the culture and freedom of her people and being a powerful symbol of the resistance to slavery.
Source: http://listverse.com/2013/11/11/10-amazing-women-who-led-rebellions/




10 Truly Creepy Vampires From Around The World -Asasabonsam --Ghana


Chances are you’re familiar with the old urban legend of the Hook Man. Well, as it turns out, the Ashanti people tell the similar (but much creepier) tale of the Asasabonsam, a strange vampire with curved iron hooks instead of feet that lives deep within African forests. It hunts by dangling from the branches of trees and thrusting said hooks into you when you pass underneath it. Once it’s hoisted you up into its tree, it devours you alive with its iron teeth, then presumably spends the rest of the night cleaning your stubborn bloodstains off its hooks so they won’t rust.

Unlike most vampires, it feeds on both humans and animals (so maybe someone should alert PETA). One oddly specific detail about the Asasabonsam is that, when its prey is human, it will make a point of biting off the thumb first before moving on to the rest of the body, possibly to prevent you from hitching a ride home if you ever manage to escape its clutches..
Source: http://listverse.com/2013/10/30/10-truly-creepy-vampires-from-around-the-world/

Comment
*Asasabonsam bites off the thumbs so its victim can't climb down the tree.*



Penis Panic
Koro is a mass delusion in which people believe their genitals are shrinking or have been stolen entirely. It has overtaken entire towns and villages in several African countries, where whole groups of men claim their penises are shrinking. They’ll often attach string or metal clamps to their genitals to stretch them safely outside the body until a shaman can be found.

The thefts are often blamed on sorcerers. In 2008 in Congo, rumors began that people wearing gold rings in communal taxis were performing penis theft spells on their fellow passengers. It became the talk of local radio stations. Yet the penis panic itself wasn’t the problem—it was the public reaction. The Congo police were forced to arrest 13 suspected penis sorcerers and 14 alleged victims after the victims attacked the sorcerers as a mob.

It was likely a sensible precaution. An episode in Ghana in the 1990s saw 12 penis snatchers beaten to death by crowds. In Nigeria, 12 people were killed in 2001, and five were killed in Benin the same year.

The Congo police chief explained his frustration, saying, “When you try to tell the victims that their penises are still there, they tell you that it’s become tiny or that they’ve become impotent. To that, I tell them, ‘How do you know if you haven’t gone home and tried it?’ ”
Source: http://listverse.com/2014/07/03/10-bizarre-problems-that-hit-entire-countries/



Top 10 Worst Sporting Disasters
Over a few weeks in April 2001, four huge football disasters occurred on the African continent. 43 people died at, 250 injured during a game in South Africa, 14 people died and 51 injured in Congo, and there was 1 death and 39 injuries after a clash between police and supporters in the Ivory Coast.

The worst disaster was in a Ghana league game between Asante Kotoko and Hearts of Oak. It started when Asante’s fans began ripping up seats after the Hearts Oak side had won the match with two late goals. Moments later the police were spraying tear gas into the crowd. As the gas spread, fans rushed for the exits, but found them locked. Despite this, the police continued firing the gas; people continued rushing for the exit.

In total 126 people were crushed to death. Many more were injured.
During that year, almost 200 people died at football matches in Africa, a combination of hooliganism, aggressive policing and poor stadiums. Their collective dream of one day holding a world cup tournament looks very far away.
Source: http://listverse.com/2007/08/24/top-10-worst-sporting-disasters/




10 Reasons To Chop Off Your Fingers
Preventing Infant Mortality -Ghana

The Ashanti tribe of Ghana believes in a ghost world that parallels the physical world. When a baby is born, it is impossible to tell if the baby is a human or a ghost. If the baby survives eight days, it is probably a human. If it dies, then it is definitely a wandering ghost, sent from the spirit world by a ghost mother to terrorize the living. The dead baby’s fingers are cut off, the body is disfigured, and the corpse is buried among the village’s trash. The family of the baby pretends to be very happy about the death to dissuade the ghost mother from sending more ghost children.

The BaBoyes people also believe infant deaths are caused by evil spirits. After one of these spirits kills a child, it is said to remain at the burial site of the child and continue killing infants. To keep the spirit at bay, parents chop a finger from the hand of each subsequent child. These fingers are buried in the grave of the first infant so the spirit can eat the delicious baby fingers and not hunger for the rest of the children.
Source: http://listverse.com/2014/07/09/10-reasons-to-chop-off-your-fingers/



10 Strange Forms Of Ancient Currency --Lobi Snakes
The Lobi were the ancient inhabitants of Ghana. They lived as farmers and spent most of their time in the fields, where they encountered a variety of snakes. To protect themselves, they forged iron snakes that were either worn on their person or placed on personal altars, just like garlic for scaring off vampires. They were such a focal point of the Lobi culture that the iron snakes were often used in trading and bartering. The bodies of the snakes were often depicted with curves to create the effect of movement as if the snakes were slithering through grass.
Source: http://listverse.com/2013/06/21/10-strange-forms-of-ancient-currency-2/



Paulina says: I'm seriously addicted to Listverse website!!! I just can't stop reading -it is full to bursting with all sorts of info, and the stuff about Ghana are the best. I'm sure you'll agree that we Ghanaians just don't tend to write about aspects of our culture that Westerners [and those of us born abroad] find interesting. A bit mish-mash and random -perhaps, the above facts have me doing more research as you can't always take these facts-as-facts -if you know what I mean.

Of course some of the info above are known to us, --but gems like Lobi ancient snake currency and the legend of the *Asasabonsam* --are new to me and I'm truly thankful for this info ---as like you, I want to know more about Ghana -and our *own* are not writing, talking or conserving 'our' culture -I guess we're tooo lazy. I now feel that the *Asasabonsam* might well behind all the suffering in Ghana -what say you???????????

I have included the story about the dragon called Bida because even though many now credit it to ancient Ghana -I truly believe regardless of where we Ghanaians originate [whether we walked from Hebrew-land via Ethiopia, northern Nigeria and central Africa or Sudan -or whether we started our journey from Egypt /northern Africa where the melting of metal money is called sika --or we came out of the ground in present day Ashanti region] --regardless; I truly believe we share tooo much **cultural* facts with the Soninke [and the Dogon] people --now attributed with this story to not print it. I do believe we are connected just look at the names [and history]...

Anywayssss -a big thanks to the fabulous Listverse website at http://listverse.com/ ---Please note that there are many more interesting facts/info about Ghana on said website so do visit or go directly to:http://listverse.com/search/?q=ghana&sa=Search




Extra:
http://www.mythologydictionary.com/african-mythology.html
http://www.hamillgallery.com/CURRENCY/CurrencyExhibition.html

The dragon guarding Wagadoo. This new city sprang up in the desert when Prince Lagarre beat the royal drum, Tabele. The dragon gave Lagarre access to the city, of which the young prince became the king, on condition that he delivered a young maiden to the dragon each year. After each such sacrifice Bida flew over the city disgorging gold, which paved all the streets. After many years of such sacrifices Mamadi, the lover of the maiden due to be sacrificed that year, killed Bida and cut off his head, which flew off to the Gold Coast. Also known as Bida. -Source: http://www.mythologydictionary.com/bida-mythology.html
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Twe-A lake-god of Ghana. He fathered a son, Twe Adodo, on an old leper woman. In some lore, occasionally referred to as Twe....

 Tano: A river-god of the Akan. Son of the sun-god. Brother of Bia. He should have been allocated the deserts but he disguised himself as his brother and was given the fertile parts of the earth. Also called Tano.

Sunsum---A god of the Ashanti. In some accounts, the soul of the tribe which was concealed in the golden stool which came (or was brought by Anochi) from heaven when King Osai Tutu was crowned. At times, known as Sunsum, Osei Tutu or Osai Tutu.

Otomankoma ---A name of Nyame as 'eternal'. On occassion, called Otomankoma, Nyame, Nyame, Nyambe, Nyambi, Nzame, Onyame, Abommubuwafre, Amaomee, Amosu, Amowia, Anansi Kokroko, Borebore, Brekyirihunuade, Nana, Nyaamanekose, Nyambe, Nyankopon, Odomankoma, Onyankopon, Totrobonso, ---***Bakongo Nzambi, Banyai Nyali or Lele Njambi

Opo --An ocean-god of the Akan people. Son of Nyame. On occassion, referred to as Opo.
 
Opete ---The vulture. The Ashanti say that this bird carries sacrifices made by the tribe to the home of the gods. At times, called Opete.
 
Onyankopon---A creator-god of the Ashanti. In some accounts, Onyankopon is Nyame as 'the shining one'; in others he is a separate deity identified by some as Anansi or Borebore. It is said that he originally lived close to the earth in the form of the sky but an old woman, using a long mortar-stick, kept striking him as she pounded her maize, so he moved up into his present position out of harm's way. Sometimes referred to as Onyankopon, Nyame, Nyame, Nyambe, Nyambi, Nzame, Onyame, Abommubuwafre, Amaomee, Amosu, Amowia, Anansi Kokroko, Borebore, Brekyirihunuade, Nana, Nyaamanekose, Nyambe, Nyankopon, Odomankoma, Otomankoma, Totrobonso, Bakongo Nzambi, Banyai Nyali, Lele Njambi, Nyankompong, Nyankompong, Anansi-toro, Anansi-toro, African Anansesem, Nyankopan, Nyankopan, Otumfoo or Otumfoo.

Asase Yaa---A fertility-goddess of the Akan. Goddess of the dead. In some accounts this is Earth Thursday, a day sacred to the goddess, on which no work on the land is permitted. Also commonly referred to as Asase Yaa, Asa-ase, Asa-ase, Dahomey Saghata, South America Gros Mama, Yoruba Obaluwaye, Asase Efua, Earth Thursday, Earth Thursday, Asa'ase, Asa'ase, Fanti Asase Efua or Fanti Asase Efua. [http://www.mythologydictionary.com/asase-yaa-mythology.html]

***Okra ---The soul, in the lore of the Ashanti [Kra]. In some accounts, referred to as okra, South American 'kra or South American 'kra

Okpomfo: A priest in the Gold Coast. Also called okpomfo, komfo, komfo or okomfo
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 ***Sikandari --The Swahili name for Alexander. The Great. Occasionally referred to as Sikandari


[Ghana] -----Nyame ----Creator and supreme god of the Akan and the Ashanti. Husband of Nasilele. Father of Opo. He appears either as Nyankopon, the sun, or as the moon, or in a third aspect as earth goddess, queen of the underworld. He wields lightning as his weapon and is worshipped in the form of a tree. At times, called Nyame, Nyambe, Nyambe, Nyambi, Nyambi, Nzambi, Nzame, Nzame, Onyame, Onyame, Abommubuwafre, Abommubuwafre, Amaomee, Amaomee, Amosu, Amosu, Amowia, Amowia, Anansi Kokroko, Anansi Kokroko, Onyankopon, Borebore, Borebore, Bore Bore, Brekyirihunuade, Brekyirihunuade, Nana, Nana, Inanna, Nanna, Nyaamanekose, Nyaamanekose, Nyankopon, Nyankopon, Odomankoma, Odomankoma, Otomankoma, Totrobonso, Totrobonso, Bakongo Nzambi, ---Bakongo Nzambi, Njambi, Banyai Nyali, Banyai Nyali, Lele Njambi or Lele Njambi.

******* [Guinea] Nyamia ---A supreme god in Guinea. Sometimes called Nyamia.

***Very important coincidence ----
 Nyambe ---A name for god in many parts of Africa. Sometimes identified as Nyambe, Nyame, Nyame, Nyambe, Nyambi, Nzame, Onyame, Abommubuwafre, Amaomee, Amosu, Amowia, Anansi Kokroko, Borebore, Brekyirihunuade, Nana, Nyaamanekose, Nyankopon, Odomankoma, Onyankopon, Otomankoma, Totrobonso, Bakongo Nzambi, Banyai Nyali, Lele Njambi, Nzambi, Nzambi, Bambi, Bumba, Nyam, Nyama, Nyambe, Nzambe, Yambe, Zambi, Bumba, Chemba, Nyam(a), Nzam(b)e, Akan Nyame, Ghana Ataa Naa Nyongmo or Ma Bumba.

See Amma & Nummo -- [Akan & Dogon people]

Sasabonsam ---A hairy forest monster of the Ashanti. Husband of Srahman. He had feet pointing both ways and ate any travellers he could capture with his feet when they passed under the tree in which he was sitting. Also known as Sasabonsam, Sasabonsum, Sasabonsum, ----Dahomey Yehwe Zogbanu or Dahomey Yehwe Zogbanu.

The Asasabonsam or asanbosam is an African vampire from Ghana lore. They can take the shape of a man, woman or child. They are described as having hooks instead of feet which are used like traps. For example, the asasabonsam hangs in a tree and when a animal or human passes it grabs the victim with its sharp hook feet and eats it alive with its iron teeth. When attacking humans, it aims for a very unusual place, the thumb. Source: http://www.bloodylexicon.com/monsters/asasabonsam/




When we think of vampires, we often envision the European type, not realizing that there are all types of vampires throughout the world. One of the more interesting variations of the vampire myth is a creature known as the asasabonsam. The asasabonsam is a peculiar vampire derived from Ghana lore. The Republic of Ghana is located along the Gulf of Guinea and the Atlantic Ocean in West Africa. The word “Ghana” means “Warrior King.”
The legend of the asasabonsam likely comes from the Ashanti people of Southern Ghana. However, the people of Togo and the Ivory Coast also speak of a similar creature.
The asasabonsam can be of any sex or any age. They appear as normal human beings, except that they have metal hooks instead of feet and iron teeth instead of those made of bone. The asasabonsam does not go for the throat when it attacks; rather, it goes for the victim’s thumb.
The asasabonsam lives primarily in dense forests, where it uses its hooks to hang from trees. An asasabonsam then waits patient for prey, which it can grab with its short, stubby arms. Other asasabonsams tend to hang from their arms, using their hooked feet to trap a victim. They use their iron teeth to drain a victim’s blood. Some stories claim that the asasabonsam consumes the entire victim, even the bones. Source: http://www.examiner.com/article/monster-of-the-week-the-asasabonsam

 

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