The Fante World

Bright Petiafo Announcement
Subject Fields
African History / Studies, Anthropology, Architecture and Architectural History, Colonial and Post-Colonial History / Studies, Immigration & Migration History / Studies

 The Fante World

(Routledge, 2025)

Description of the Book

The Fante States remain one of the most under-researched and unappreciated gems in Ghana/African History. Most of the scholarship on Ghana has focused largely on Asante from a national perspective. Albert Adu Boahen, the doyen of Ghana history, blazed the trail after remarking that "very little work has so far been done on the history of the Fante and a student who has to rely on secondary works has very little to go on." J.K. Fynn followed this lead in writing on Fante history though he did not do much work on the topic either. Only recently has some work been done on the Fante in the diaspora, specifically in the U.S. Generally, the Fante have often been featured largely in works dealing with the British or Europeans along the coast of Ghana or the Asante expansion and growth into a hegemon. But they have been present and active in the long period of continuity and change on the Gold Coast and in Ghana. Without them, the story of Ghana is incomplete, but they have not been the centerpiece of many significant works in Ghana's history. 

Very few works have taken original and even international perspectives on the Fante, but those are far-in-between if any. These include The Fante and the Transatlantic Slave Trade (Shumway). This book, The Fante World, will adopt an international, multi-territorial, and multi-"national" perspective on the Fante to capture the cosmopolitan and international dimensions of Fante life and identity. This volume attempts precisely to bring together new methods, new research, innovative ideas, and even a revisit of some of the earlier perspectives on the Fante people and their culture. In the process, this volume could become a unique source of first-class and innovative historical research on the Fante World produced by top scholars in the field. For the first time, English-speaking readers will find in a single-volume analysis and information about the Fante, their allies, territories, the few dependencies, Fante relations, and activities in the African Diaspora. It will also analyze the interactions and mutual influences between Fante and their regional neighbors, Asante, and international neighbors, the Europeans, and the modern Diaspora. The aim is to highlight connections between political entities and their territories in a loose alliance and rivalry over power and hegemony. Additionally, well beyond the more traditional approach to Fante history, this book will bring many other points of view and perspectives to respond to the reality of this multi-centered African polity. 

The structure of the volume combines a chronological approach with a set of thematic in-depth studies. In analyzing all the issues outlined above, we would combine intellectual history, political, diplomatic, and economic history, sexuality, art, literature, architecture, music, theatre, medicine, science and technology, politics, and global interactions to provide a holistic perspective of the Fante World.

We acknowledge that this is a complex volume dealing with a broad range of issues and geographies throughout an extensive period of time, but we are committed to inviting historians, anthropologists, archaeologists, musicians, linguists, and literary scholars, and to produce a clear, interesting, innovative, and useful book. All contributions to this volume will be original and researched base combining theoretical sophistication and in-depth analysis of each topic. Contributors are strongly encouraged to avoid jargon. Bibliographical recommendations should be added to each chapter. 

Chapter Outline


First Part: The Fante World (Pre-17th to 18th centuries)

1.  Sources, Methods, and New Perspectives for the Study and Writing of Fante History.

2 Fante Prehistory

3. The Origins of the Fante States - Abora, Eguafo, Akatakyi, Mankessim, Saltpond, Anyan, Agona, Nkunsukum, Ajumako, Gomoa and Kormantse.

4. Migration, State Formation, and Identity of Specific Fante States

5. The Fante and the struggle for supremacy on the Atlantic coast

6. The Political Constitution of the Fante Kingdoms

7. Fante Asafo/Posuban

8. Ottobah Coguano (Abolitionist and Philosopher)

9. Anomabo in Fante history

10. Egyaa and Fante History

11. Architecture of Cape Coast and or Anomabo

12. Economy and Trade in Fanteland

13. Gender: Structure and roles

14. Fante Culture

15. Identities and counter-identities of Fante States


Second Part: Expansion and Engagement with Europeans (18th and 19th Centuries)

16. The Development of Fante States/Political or Economic Institutions

17. European Arrival in Fanteland: The British, Swedes, and the Cape Coast Castle/Slave Castel and Dungeons

18. Cormantin or Kormantse

19. Fort Amsterdam

20. Fort William

21. Anomabo and the Slave Trade

22. Fante-Asante Relations

23. Fante Response to Asante Expansion to the Coast

24. The Fante and Euro-African Trade on the Gold Coast

25. The Fante "Euro-Africans"

26. The Fante and the Brits

27. The Fante and the Dutch

28. The European Legacy on the Fante Coast

29. The Fante and the Growth of British Jurisdiction on the Gold Coast

30. King Aggrey of Cape Coast

31. Fante Women Entrepreneurs and the Atlantic Slave Trade

32. The Fante and the Company of British Merchants in Cape Coast


Third Part: the 19th Century Fante World

33. Cape Coast Slave Castle and Dungeons

34. The Fante and the End of the Slave Trade

35. The British and Fante Architecture

36. The Fante Confederacy -1868

37. The Fante Elites

38. The Merchant Princes

39. The Fante and the Bond of 1844

40. The Fante and George Maclean

41. King Aggrey of Cape Coast

42. King Otu of Abura

43. Jacob Wilson Sey

44. John Mensah Sarbah

45. Kobina Sekyi

46. Fanteland through Novels

47. Monuments in Fante History


Fourth Part: The Fante World at Home and Abroad - 20th to 21st Century

48. The University of Cape Coast

49. The Asebu Lime Factory

50. Nkusukum and Odambea

51. The Oguaa Fetu Afahye

52. Chieftaincy among the Fante

53. Fante Asafo

54. Fante Community in the Diaspora

55. The Military Museum and Cemetary in Cape Coast

56. Re-Creating Fante:  The Fantefuohene in the Diaspora (Canada)

57. Re-Creating Fante: The Fantefuohene in the Diaspora (The United States)

58. New Scholarship on Fante: Cutting Edge Research, Current Debates, and Controversies. 


Anyone interested in contributing a chapter should send a 200-word abstract to the Editor Edmund Abaka, at or Bright A. E. Petiafo at or Frimpong Nana Asamoah at by October 30, 2023. Full chapters are expected by October 30, 2024.



Edmund Abaka is an Associate Professor of African and African Diaspora History at the University of Miami. His research interests are West African Economic and Social History, Slavery, and Emancipation, Sites of Historical Memory in Africa, and the African Diaspora. He is the author of articles/books on kola nut production, and trade in the Gold Coast/Ghana, and Gold Coast/Ghana Slave Forts, Castles, and Dungeons. He has also edited or co-edited books such as W.E.B. Du Bois on Africa; Africa and the Second World War; The Asante World and The Historical Dictionary of Ghana (under review). He is currently working on Hausa migration and the creation of trade diasporas in the Gold Coast/Ghana between 1820 and 2020. 


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