The name ”KROBO” was derived from ”KRO-ƆBO-SO-FOƆ”. It was given to us by our Akan neighbours when we were on the Krobo mountain.
The Original name, ”KRO-ƆBO- SO-FOƆ” is an Akan word meaning ”Town of Rock/Mountain dwellers”.
later, ”Kro Ɔbo So foɔ” was shortened to ”Krobofoɔ” and later corrupted into ”Krobo”
In everyday conversations and the need to pronounce ”Krobo” very fast in these conversations, Krobo has normally been shortened to ”Kro”. But the some of the Krobos usually find it difficult to pronounce the letter ”R” in our everyday parlance. We normally replace ”R” with ”L”. So ”Kro” has become ”Klo” or ”Aklo”. The Krobos occupied the Krobo Mountain around the 14th century after the painful split at ”Lɔlɔvɔ”. The Mountain is 1,108 feet high and has a deep gorge (or valley) which devides it into two unequal sections. The larger, North-Eastern portion (called ‘Bɔse”) was occupied by the present day Manya-Klo. And the South-Western section (called ”Dɔse”) was also occupied by the Present day Yilo-Klo.
The Krobos were evicted from the Krobo Mountain exactly 125 years. This year, 2017, is therefore the SESQUICENTENNIAL celebration,(125years) and observation of this painful eviction from the Krobo Mountain.
But was our eviction a curse or a blessing in disguise??
KLOMA HENGME; The Krobo Advocacy and Heritage Association, always use festive times like this to educate Krobos about our great heritage as a people.
*1892: EVICTION FROM THE KROBO MOUNTAIN*
1892 was thus an outstanding signpost in the Krobo History___A break from the old Krobo and a change to the modern age. In 1892, King Sakite I (Kakraku Amuola) of Manya-Klo who was very old by then died of heart failure. The entire Krobo nation was consequently thrown into a state of mourning and grief. In Yilo-Krobo, the Konor by then was Nene Tetteh Akrobetto I (1876–1908, See his picture below). He was by then very old but very active in the dispensation of his customary duties. By customary demands, he will be the one to bury Sakite, a role which he carried out to perfection.
*Interlude:* There was a high co-operation between Sakite and the new Yilo King, Nene Tetteh Akrobetto (He succeeded Noi Anorbaah Sasraku I). Nene Tetteh Akrobetto was an elderly person, and Sakite gave him due respect. He in turn sought the advice from Sakite, because Sakite had literate brothers and could transact business with the Government. They had private meetings from time to time on the improvement of Kroboland.
At this point in time, Sra was the capital of Yilo Krobo. By then Somanya was only a recreational grounds where the people fron Sra and neighbouring villages often retired to dance ”SƐWU”, a kind of dance in those days. The place became popular and received the name ”SƐWU-MANƆ” (place for acting Sɛwu dance). In the course of time, Sɛwu-Manɔ got corrupted into ”Somanya”. Somanya later became a commercial town, overshadowed Sra, and became the Chief town.
During these days of grief, some Krobos murdered one Nketia; a State-sword bearer to the Akwamu Chief by then. Those Krobos were arrested, tried and sentenced to death by then British Colonial Government. The Government made an example of them to the people of Krobo by PUBLICLY HANGING THEM AT SOMANYA. It is important to note that, they were publicly hanged as a deterrent to the Krobo people because in those days, Krobos were notorious scalp-hunters (Hunters for human head). The Nadu and Kotoklo war deities only feed on human blood (blood-thirsty cults), and therefore the Krobos had no option than frequently hunt for human scalp to feed these war deities.
The Krobo neighboring Akan states; the Akwapims and Akwamus suffered in many ways, and were ready to accuse Krobos whenever any of their tribes men got missing. Blood revenge was the best solution at that time, and so many Krobos also disappeared from time to time.
The Colonial Government had by then also banned Krobos from burying their dead on the Krobo Mountain. King Sakite I was therefore buried in his own palace which he built at Odumase (The current Odumase Palace)
*Interlude:* King Sakite I became dissatisfied with his father’s (King Odonkor Azu) old home (palace) so he planned out to build a new Royal palace. Sakite’s generous help given to the missionaries in building a Chapel and mission bungalow was not forgotten. The missionaries came to his aid: Rev Kop of the Basel Missionaries selected a good site and drew a plan for Sakite’s house. The youth of Krobo were organized into groups to work in the stone quarries and lumber yards. Even Asafoatse Kofi Karikari of Yilɔ contributed a good amount of hewn stone. Bunase chief Agbo supplied woods (beam and boards) and each Nam male gave a headload of thatch.
And with the help of masons from Prampram, Sakite finally built a grand palace; as a proof of his wish to keep abreast with modern times.
COLONIAL GOVT KROBOS ACCUSED KROBOS, KROBOS WERE INFURIATED
Few days after the burial of King Sakite, Alexander Riby Williams; the African District Commissioner at Akuse, suspecting that King Sakite was buried with human heads (human sacrifices) came down to Odumase. His mission was to demanded the EXHUMATION OF THE BODY FOR THE EXAMINATION OF THE GRAVE.
His action has infuriated the Krobos to the highest degree, and he himself (Alexander Riby Williams) was murdered, and the Government had to pacify the infuriated Krobos to calm them down.
*SUCCESSOR OF KING SACKITE, AND THE FORCEFUL EVICTION
The British Governor by then; Sir Brandford Griffiths was restless with all these happenings in the Krobo state. He could barely sleep. The best thing he could was to forcefully evict the krobos from their mountain stronghold.
Governor Griffith was very firm. He notified the Krobos to get ready with Sakite’s successor before his arrival TO COME AND EVICT THEM. The Jemeli and the majority of the people were in favour of Akute; the eldest surviving brother of Sakite. However, Peter Nyarko, another brother was also putting up a fight for His Son, Mate-Korle to succeed Sakite.
*By August 1892, Governor Griffith completed his arrangements to put into force the expulsion of the Krobos from the Mountain. He marched to Odumase accompanied by a large force armed with heavy artillery to bombard the mountain should the Krobos put up a fight.
Upon reaching Odumase, Governor Griffith next called for the Election of a successor to Sakite, and both Akute and Peter Nayrko were presented. Peter Nyarko had the Majority vote so the stool went to Mate-Kole, his son. Nene Sir Emmanuel Mate-Korle (a.k.a Huasukple) therefore succeeded King Sakite I (See his picture below)
By the morning after Mate-Korle’s installation, most of the Mountain dwellers had voluntarily descended the Mountain, saving their property. However, not all the Krobos voluntarily descended. A chunk of them were still up there.
Early in the Morning, on the 1st Saturday of August 1892, the Governor with his heavily armed battalion and medical staff stormed the top of the Mountain. They destroyed our houses, caves, monuments and anything on site. They destroyed the fetish houses, even Krowɛki– the priestess–who had grown to be part of the Mountain was carried down in a hammock to the village of the Okumo (Chief Priest).
Kroboland was in great sorrow!!!!!
The Governor, Sir Brandford Griffith left some of his officers and Medical staff on the Krobo Mountain. They camped there for some months till permanent peace became a certainty.
CURTAIN GONE DOWN ON THE OLD KROBO, NEW ORDER USHERED IN
*The Ever powerful Krobo Mountain had finally fallen. The curtain had gone down on the old Krobo. Now a new order was ushered in.
Thus did a tribe, reared on rocky mountain for all these years, descended to the surrounding verdant valleys (”DƆM”) to rise as a full fledged nation. Out of the Akro tribes had risen the Krobo people—Manya and Yilo—modern states, sons and daughters of the Gold Coast, now Ghana. They tilled the land, and engaged in agriculture. They lowered themselves like pupils and learned from their neighbours.
Our high religion also fell, together with its secret blood-thirsty cults. In place of this old religion (with its stringent ethical codes), the Krobos now gained a new religion; the freedom Of Christianity with its new morality___Education and liberty.
Was our eviction from the Krobo Mountain a negative one, or a blessing in disguise???
Nene Tetteh Akrobetto (1876-1908) was the King of Yilo Klo when the Krobos were evicted
King Sakite I of Manya-Klo died, and the same year the Mountain had fallen
Nene Sir Emmanuel Mate Kole Succeeded King Sakite. He was enstooled, and the following day the Krobos were evicted.
SOURCE: Kloma Hengme Heritage