The Akan Asona and the Native American Crow
The Akan sections 4.2, 4.3
The Native Indians are
not a monolithic group and like the Africans
there are many differences even among Indians of a language group. I
have been drawn towards the Crow culture first after learning of the
similarities in Akan and Crow society regarding clan and
inheritance similarities. Both the Akan and the Crow Native Indian
people are matrilineal and they both practice matrilineal inheritance
in a very similar way. I later on learned that the Crow are so-called
Hitdatsa referred to them as the ‘Children of the Large-beaked
bird’. Most importantly, I have also come to learn that Akan and
Crow spirituality with regard to Divine Providence (for the Akan it is
Odomankoma, for the Crow it is Abcadadea) is virtually identical.
On wikipedia there is a photo of a black-billed magpie when one follows
the link from the Crow page. This bird caught my attention because it
looks almost identical to the crow/magpie that is the totem of the Akan
Asona, the Crow clan.
Here is the magpie associated with the Native American Crow people:
And here is a photo of the Akan crow:
The carved wooden figure of the crow in the photo above is on the home
of the chief at my dad’s village. I took the photo when attending
my grandmother’s funeral in March 2008. The clan linguist also
carries a staff, the top of which is an identically carved crow.
Among the Akan, of all the clans (see Akan book section 4.2) the members of the crow clan are the most numerous.
Crow-type matrilineal systems
Anthropologists often compare human groups to one of 5 inheritance
systems (Crow, Hawaiian, Iroquois, Omaha/Sioux, Sudanese/Islamic) common to the
respective groups. The Crow and Iroquois systems are matrilineal while
the Omaha system is patrilineal. Hawaiian is bilineal.
The interesting thing is that the Akan and the Bantu (originally) are
matrilineal. There are a few other matrilineal West African groups such
as the Dagara, who also have a crow-type matrilineal system.
Among the Mossi groups of west Africa, the Lobi, Birifor, Senufo,
Dorosie have Crow-type systems. Malidoma Some’s Dagara are of the
Lobi and Birifor.
There are very small groups among the Plateau Nigerians of West Africa
who also have the Crow system. These are the Daka, Gure, Kam and Ndoro
as examples. Most of the rest of the Plateau Nigerian groups are
Among the Bantu of central and southern Africa, the Luba, Lunda, Ekonda, Mbole are all of the same Crow pattern.
Among Native Americans, the Apache, Hopi and Navajo/Dine have Crow-type
systems. There may be some others, I haven’t done a great deal of
searching into this. There may be some Crow systems among the central
and South American Indians as well.
In Asia it is not so common. Only one group, the Mnong Gar (or simply Mnong if you search on wikipedia) of Vietnam
have a Crow system. However most of the matrilineal groups in Asia are
of the Iroquois system.