Asase Ya (or Asase Yaa, Asaase Yaa, Asaase Afua) is the Earth goddess of fertility of the Bono people, an Akan ethnic group of Ghana. She is also known as Mother Earth or Aberewaa.

Asase Ya
Earth Goddess
HusbandNyame
IssueTano
Bia
Bosomtwe
Anansi
OccupationGoddess of the Bono people

Asase Yaa is the wife of Nyame the Sky deity, who created the universe. Asase Yaa gave birth to the two children, Bea and Tano. Bea is also named Bia.

Asase Yaa is also the mother of Anansi, the trickster, and divine stepmother of the sacred high chiefs.

Asase Yaa is very powerful, though no temples are dedicated to her, instead, she is worshipped in the agricultural fields of Bono. Asase Yaa is highly respected amongst Akans. Sacrifices are given to her for favour and blessings. Asase Yaa's favoured Bono people are occupationally workers in the agricultural fields and planet Earth is her symbol.[1][2][3]

Asase Yaa WorshipEdit

The Bono people regard Asase Ya as Mother Earth, the earth goddess of fertility, the upholder of truth, and the creator Goddess who comes to fetch Bono people's souls to the otherworld (Planet Jupiter) at the time of death. She is credited as being the nurturer of the earth and is considered to provide sustenance for all. When a member of the Bono people wants to prove their credibility, they touch their lips to the soil of Bono and recite the Asase Ya Prayer-Poem. Another tradition holds that because Thursday is reserved as Asase Ya's day, the Bono people generally abstain from tilling the land of Bono.[4]

Asase Ya Prayer-PoemEdit

 
Asase Ye Duru is the Adinkra Symbol of Asase Ya the Bono people Goddess. Asase ye Duru means; The Earth has weight (symbol of providence and the divinity of Mother Earth and this symbol represents the importance of the Earth in sustaining life). Divinity of the Earth. Providence Power/Authority, Wealth and Might. Bono Twi: Tumi nyinaa ne asase (All power emanates from the earth) and Asase ye duru sene epo (The earth is heavier than the sea).
Prayer Poem To Asase Ya
First stanza
Old Woman Earth ....

She who Lent the Rights..
Of Cultivation to the Living ....

My Prayer to You, of Thanksgiving.
Second stanza
"Earth, When I am about to Die,

I Lean on you.
Earth, While I am Alive,

I Depend on You".
Third stanza
Lilacs in your Hair .. Ever Present Mother
In each Grain of Sand is thy Story.
Fourth stanza
Giver of Nkwagye the Salvation of Life

And Nkwa to live Life without Strife

To your Everlasting Glory.
Fifth stanza
That Man is Tame is thy Domain...

Giver of Law and Ethics

Scales of Justice.
Sixth stanza
With Each Field I till..

With Thee I am Still
And when Death comes to Claim..
I become One with thy Fame

Bringing Life to the Land with my Will.
Seventh stanza
The Fertile Fields and the Woman's Yield

All Have felt thy Hand
Hail and Thanks Be Great Mother

For your Back upon which we Stand.
Eight stanza
Upholder of Truth, our Lady Fair

To kiss the dust of thy Breast...

Is proof of the Tale.
Ninth stanza
Hail Great Mother

Whose Love is in the Earth
Thy gifts to your Children

Are an Unending source of Mirth.
Tenth stanza
A Smile to the Lips with a Song in the Heart
Praises we Sing, when the Plantings to Start.
Eleventh stanza
Hail bringer of Life, bringer of Law and Order

Hail Old Mother Earth, your Children
Have Crossed the Border

Into the Lands of Sweetness and Heart.
Twelfth stanza
Asase Yaa, Aberewa, Asase Efua

Names without End do we Call You
Blessed Be, Asase Yaa

To Be Cherished Forever, We Adore You.

The Abosom in the Americas (Jamaica)Edit

Worship of the Asase Ya goddess was transported via the transatlantic slave trade and was documented to had been acknowledged by enslaved Akan or Coromantee living in Jamaica. Jamaican slave owners did not believe in Christianity for the Coromantee and left them to their own beliefs. Hence Bono's spiritual system was dominant on the plantation. According to Jamaican historian and slave owner Edward Long, creole descendants of the Akan coupled with other newly arrived Coromantee joined in observation and worship of the Bono goddess Asase Yaa (the English people recorded erroneously as 'Assarci'). They showed their worship by pouring libations and offering up harvested foods. Other Bono Abosom were also reported to be worshipped. This was the only deity spiritual system on the island, as other deities identities in the 18th century were obliterated because of the large population of enslaved Coromantee in Jamaica, according to Edward Long and other historians who observed their slaves.[5]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Warren, Dennis M. (1973). Disease, Medicine, and Religion Among the Techinan - Bono of Ghana: A Study in Culture Change. Indiana University.
  2. ^ Warren, Dennis M. (1975). The Techiman-Bono of Ghana: An Ethnography of an Akan Society. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company. ISBN 978-0-8403-1122-1.
  3. ^ Antubam, Kofi (1963). Ghana's Heritage of Culture. Koehler & Amelang. ISBN 9780598513489.
  4. ^ The Akan of Ghana: Their Ancient Beliefs. Faber & Faber. 1958.
  5. ^ Petras, Elizabeth McLean (2019-04-11), "Jamaicans in Panama", Jamaican Labor Migration, Routledge, pp. 53–84, doi:10.4324/9780429044076-3, ISBN 978-0-429-04407-6