The Akan Asona and the Native American Crow
Other references:
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 because the 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:

crow magpie

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 matrilineal.
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.