The Kwifor

This is the highest ruling instrument of authority in the village. It is made up of all the kingmakers. There are many forms or types or categories of Kwifor. The activities of this society are shrouded in great secrecy. It is not even easy to know its members until you are a kingmaker. And because they are several categories of Kwifor, it is practically difficult to know who is a member of which particular Kwifor. There are, however, two main societies of Kwifor: Kwifor Nteching and Kwiini Ajuang.

The first (Kwifor Nteching), is believed to be the most powerful to the extend that if an ordinary man who is not a member sees it, then he/she is transformed into an albino. The second (Kwiini Ajuang), is less powerful and everyone can see them except woman. However, it is noteworthy that princes and princesses do not see any of the Kwifors. But their 3rd generations are free to see them as any ordinary villager.

The main functions of the Kwifor are numerous but the following are essential:

  • It is the highest authority in the village.
  • The Fon’s important daily decisions arc conclusive only after consultation with its members.
  • In times of emergency, like when the village is attacked, the members are brought together to direct action.
  • The Kwifor conducts the burial of its members in ways known to none.
  • The Kwifor is know to be a male-only group


The Takabengs

This second ruling organ of the village is mainly a female society and there are two types. The Takabeng is just as secret as the Kwifor because men are not allowed to see it, not even the Fon. The Takabeng is a female society that protects the rights of women in the society. The Takabeng can intervene during situation like the farmer-grazier problems where food crops are being wantonly destroyed. All the villages, though separate as they are have each the Takabeng society and regroups as soon as they face a common problem for action.

The other Takabeng is that of the Palace made up of the princesses.


Age Groups (Nkang)

In the Akum Fondom, age is a major factor in the positioning or ranking of someone in the society. It is for this reason that in adulthood, every Akum person sees to it that he belongs to an appropriate age group, which is usually baptized by the Fon. The Fon baptizes such groups with a name. And this usually happens when the members of such group lobby the Palace with some valuable services warranting the Fon’s recognition. It is generally believed that any adult who does not formally belong to an age group is a coward (ngyammebah). And this initiation is for both men and women.

During these periodical assemblies, members of the age groups who intend to join the age group but did not take part in the working session in the palace in order to be baptized with a name are usually slammed with a fine. And, in any case, this fine may consist of a jug of palm wine, achu, meat, salt, a cock or some cola-nuts. Whoever defaults a payment forfeits his right to carry out a successful funeral ceremony in Akum, be it of your father or mother. However, most often, some intelligent young adults prefer to invite their age groups during the celebration of their first marriage under the “Nilong” Here he undertakes to feed his age-mates heavily with all that would be required for a fine, simply because he did not take part in the name baptizing ceremony in the palace.

There are also exceptions to this rule, especially where older people prefer to integrate in the age groups of the young. They do this in order to sit in their mist And eat all the “gizzards” of the fowls as well as playing the role of food-taster before it is served to anyone in the gathering. Interestingly enough, these older folk always sit near the door. Finally, what is very interesting to note about the age groups is the fact that, by the time they all grow old and die, their Manjong instruments are surrendered to the palace as a sign that none of them is alive again.