The Okusiga – The ruling council.

There was consensus throughout my interviews that the ruling council comprises seventeen (17 ) chiefs and their female counterparts.


  1. Okusie is the chief executive and head of the(ruling council) okusiga. He doubles as the Adontehene of Avatime as well as the head of Olepe Pasu (division). His seat is hereditary and occupies a black stool. He is crowned from Likusikp4/Dzapraka royal family. His final installation rites are performed in a river. He is buried at his home with only three bottles of schnapps.
  2. Asafoatse is head of Asafo (forces). He deputizes for the chief and remains the second in command in the Okusiga.. He serves as the foreign affairs head as well as the head of development projects. He is the first point of call in matters relating to roads and walkways. His seat is hereditary and crowned from Odudodome. His final installation rites are performed in a river. He also occupies a black stool.
  3. Tsiami is the chief linguist. He represents the eye, ear and the mouthpiece of the Okusiga. He is the communication director of the chief. He bears attacks and guilt on behalf of the chief. He receives all correspondence for Okusiga. He is crowned from Agbenya family and sits on a white stool.
  4. Adja is the main guard of the chief from behind. He is the chief adviser of the chief. He is crowned from Kesatsali and occupies a white stool.
  5. Manklalo is the key to the warehouse. He is in charge of the spoils of war. His seat came into being after Tafi war of 1927. He is crowned from Ayegafome clan and occupies a white stool. Presently, he takes responsibility for educational matters.
  6. Odikro is the chief responsible for land. Some interpreted his title as the landlord or the head of the farmstead. Others refute this claim and suggested that Odikro is alien to Avatime customs and tradition. Meanwhile, the occupant of this seat known in private life as Mr. Charles kweku Osei Asare and his elders claimed that his appropriate title is Okusie Odjagba-Tetteh III, the chief of Dzogbefeme. Their claim seem to have some legitimacy since the occupant was coronated by Osie Adza-Tekpor VI. Odikro ( Okusie Ojagba-Tetteh) narrated how his great-great ancestor called Osiama became the first chief of Dzogbefeme. He presented the following list as occupants of his seat.

No.NameReign
1stOsiama IAfter 1750
2ndAtsrokoeDuring Logba war
3rdAdoloAfter Logba war
4thOdjagba-Tetteh I1870-1903
5thOdjagba-Tetteh II1936-1968
6thOdjagba-Tetteh III1970-Date

This is how the current occupant narrated the founding story of Dzogbefeme: "Our forefather Osiama who was a hunter moved from Oxu and came to hunt here and set fire to the grassland. He found trails of bush pigs (hippo). He fetched some water into a hunter's hat (akatsaloglo) and presented to the elders at home (Oxu) and proclaimed to have found a good river suitable for human habitation. He fell sick thereafter. The elders consulted oracles and were told that the land Osiama discovered belonged to him the god Ovodze. According to this god, Osiama did not seek permission from him before stepping on it. The god demanded the following items from Osiama to be used for a sacrifice so that he can possess the land:

  • One Billy-goat
  • Two fowls, a hen and a cock
  • One bottle of red oil
  • One calabash full of pepper
  • One calabash full of salt
  • Rice flour
  • 'yiw4yiw4' leaves
  • 'ahuasa' leaves

The above items were used to pacify the Ovodze god and the hunter Osiama became healed. Osiama then returned to possess the land. He traced the pigs to our present home. This house was the first to be built in Avatime. The rest of the people arrived from Oxulosu at various times to live here with Osiama".

The Avatime paramountcy need to come clear in order to settle this distortion once and for all. Meanwhile, my research findings show that apart from Dz4kpe-Avatime,no other community had a new royalty. This implies that royalty did not start after settlements have been established. The royal families were known and kept throughout the migration journey. Dz4pke was composed of all the seven units of Avatime. Namely,Os45ome,Tsadome,T4`ui,Amedz45e,Gbadzeme,Biakpa and Fume. Dz4kpe was strategically positioned far into the south-western plains to occupy the annexed lands and keep surveillance over the activities of former adversaries-Logba and Tafi. Even then, the question of who rules Dz4kpe was answered by Osie of Avatime. In that connection, therefore, nobody can assume to be chief without the explicit concern of the Avatime paramountcy.

Secondly, after the war of conquest, the acquired land was apportioned according to the three Pasus (Divisions ) It was the practice for hunters to move round and identify suitable spots where the settlements could be built.

Thirdly, does land ownership bear any relationship with chieftaincy?



VII Oman1 or Omanete.
This title is responsible for security and justice. Each of the three represents one of the three major divisions of Dzogbefeme. They act as the main advisers of the ruling council.
Their advice on any case especially concerning security should not be ignored. The head of Bamanete is Okusieka. He represents the Agbade division and he hails from Dzapraka clan. The Agbade Divison's appellation is "wope egyaa bra menky1n'

VIII Omanete II He comes from Atsiame specifically form Osiama-Baya clan. The Atsiame Division bears the appellation "Ahuatte kotoko".
IX. Omanete II He is the representative from Ayegafome. He hails from the Asem family. Their appellation is Onyensu Kototo

X Odzone or Odzonete. He is responsible for implementing the verdict passed on offenders by the ruling council. They carry out executions and banishments. Their selection is by appointment from their clans. Odzone I is form Agbade, precisely from Adesi-Kesatsali clan.

XI Odzone II comes from Atsiame. That is form Liklakp4a3a clan.

XII Odzone III comes from Ayegafome. He is appointed form Sepeni family.

XIII Dzapraka's Asafo. He is the chief warrior and commander of Adza-Tekpor's forces on behalf of the chief of

Dzogbefeme. He rides in the chief's palanquin. His seat is hereditary among the Asante-Anku Besoebi clan. He takes custody of Avatime war regalia. He is customarily responsible for shooting the first gun or drawing the first sword either in war or in the performance of any ritual involving Avatime Traditional council.
XIV S4h1 4ka. He is in charge of the youth. He mobilizes the youths for development projects. They are the organizers of communal labor. They work in collaboration with the queen mothers to maintain sanitation in the community. They may impose sanctions on sanitation offenders.
S4h1 4ka I comes from Agbade. He is appointed from Kesatsali clan.

XV S4h1 $ka II He comes from Atsiame. He is selected from Liklikp4a3a Clan.

XVI S4h1 $ka III. He comes from Ayegafome. He is selected from the Aboagye Family.

XVII Ogbedoe. He is the Traditional Priest. He offers libation (prayers) on behalf of the chiefs and the community. He prays to the gods and ancestors. This title belongs to Kesatsali who appoints anybody from within who is suitable for the post.

Other important persons who serve and always dine with the chiefs

1. Bat4pu- Security guards
2. Town crier – The gong-gong beater
3. Akyiriman – Drummers of the talking drums.
4. Tenu – messengers of queen mothers
5. Secretary of the Okusiga.
6. Elders

Summary of chiefs according to the three divisions, Agbade, Atsiame and Agyegafome 7:5:5

 

Title Major Division Clan Division
Okusie Agbade Dzapraka
Asafoatse Atsiame Oduododome
Tsiami Ayegafome Agbenya
Manklalo Ayegafome Ekor
Adja Agbade Kesatasli
Odikro Atsiame Osiama-Baya
Omanete I Agbade Dzrapraka
Omanete II Atsiame Osiama-Baya
Omanete III Ayegafome Asem
Odzonete I Agbade Kesatsali
Odzonete II Atsiame Liklkp4a3a
Odzonete III Ayegafome Sepeni
Drzapraka's Asafo Agbade Asante-Anku
S4h1 $ka I Agbade Kesatsali
S4h1 Oka II Atsiame Liklikp4a3a
S4h1 oka III Ayegafome Aboagye
Ogbedoe Agbade Kesatsali


 

Clans

  1. Likusikpor or Dzapraka
  2. Asante-Anku Besoebi
  3. Kesatsali or Adja Likpor
  4. Odudodome
  5. Liklikpaba (Liklakpaba)
  6. Osiama – Baya
  7. Ayegafome