EMERGENCE OF TRADITIONAL BLACK STOOLS

IN GBI-BLA
 

The Akan culture of creating a ‘stool’ as a symbol of traditional political authority started gaining grounds in Gbi in particular and the entire Ewe land during the reign of Torgbe Tsri Korku. Tsri Koku however could not create one before his death. After his death, his two sons, Amexo and Vorvorli, who were well versed in the Akan culture, introduced the Akan system of ‘enstoolment’ into Gbi-Bla. This explains why most of our chieftaincy items bear Akan names. Vorvorli and Amexo created the BUAMI Stool and Amexo became the first enstooled chief of Gbi-Bla i.e. Torgbe Buami I. The descendants of Vorvorli and Amexo emerged to be known as Buamiviwo. The above explains why the Buami Stool was / is the bonafide inheritance of the descendants of Vorvorli and Amexo. It is however on record that the Buami dynasty had on two occasions in the past beckoned relatives from the Nyavor and Akunu lineages respectively to mount the stool when it was difficult for the Buami dynasty to find heirs.

The present descendants of Amexo are Agbo and Venyo families while the descendants of Vorvorli are the Digo and Gorlu (Asempah) families. Thus the families with bonafide right to the Buami Stool are Agbo, Venyo, Digo and Asempah. This simply means appointments to the Buami Stool and all associate positions I.e. Divisional Queen Mother, Buami kpukpotor (Zikpitor), Buami Kalakaladula and Buami Fiator positions must be the collective decision or done with the collective blessings of the families mentioned above. 

Upon the creation of the Buami Stool, the baton was handed over to the descendants of the other two founding forefathers of Gbi-Bla namely Asiamaviwo and Vuleviwo, who were by then directly controlling Blanyigbe and Bladzigbe respectively to create sub-divisional ‘stools’.
The descendants of Vule rose up to the occasion, created a ‘stool’ and installed a sub-divisional chief i.e. Torgbe Vule I. Descendants of Asiamah Kotobri could not do likewise.

Torgbe Buami IV i.e. Zu had the understanding that the number of sub-divisional stools a divisional stool controlled determined the might of the divisional stool and embarked upon an
agenda to raise the might of his stool by having more sub-divisional stools created under his jurisdiction. As a first step, he made efforts to have the descendants of Asiamah Kotobri create a sub-divisional stool. The descendants of Asiama Kotobri could not create a traditional black stool and therefore relinquished the responsibility to their kinsmen i.e. Bansaviwo. It was / is believed that the descendants of Asiamah Kotobri could not master the courage to perform the necessary sacrifices / rituals that were required for the creation of a traditional ‘stool’ hence the decision to pass-on the opportunity to their kinsmen. They however held on to their original traditional responsibility as the traditional spokesperson (Okyeame) of Torgbe Buami.

The Bansa lineage warmly grabbed the opportunity given them, created a black stool and subsequently installed a sub-divisional chief popularly called Fia Foli during the reign of Torgbe Buami IV i.e. Zu. Blanyigbe thus had a sub-divisional chief and a linguist (an Okyeame).

Torgbe Buami IV (i.e. Zu) and his elders also permitted the Ayim clan to create a traditional ‘stool’ as a symbol of their traditional responsibility as the secular administrators of Gbi- Bla town lands (i.e. Atiletsakpe land) on behalf of Torgbe Buami. The decision, as earlier on stated, was informed by the understanding that the number of sub-divisional stools that a divisional stool controlled determined the might of the divisional stool.

The creation of the Ayim stool made the Bladzigbe sub-division to possess two traditional black stools: one for the political administration of Bladzigbe sub-division as well as Omankrado of Gbi-Bla and the other for the secular administration of the Atiletsakpe land on behalf of Torgbe Buami. The Ayim traditional ‘stool’ became the fourth stool to be created in Gbi-Bla. The first was the Buami stool, and then came Vule, then Bansa (Awalie) and finally Ayim.


The above developments later compelled the descendants of Vule to support their kinsmen, Kponeviwo, to create a linguist (an Okyeame) position and subsequently installed a linguist (an Okyeame). The Kponevi Okyeame called Tsiami Krakani was and is still considered junior to Tsiami Asiamah Kotobri of Blanyigbe. All the above were signs that Gbi-Bla was expanding and the knowledge of traditional stool chieftaincy was gaining root in Gbi-Bla.


Thus the Buami divisional stool currently has three sub-divisional stools and two linguist (Okyeame) positions.

Author: Samuel Abednego Agbo

The above information is subject to updates and can be contested.