Introduction / History
The Akebu are found in the Akebou province in the south western region of Togo. The area is also called "Akebu Plateau" and is located in the largest rainforest of Togo. The Akebu people are a mixture of the original inhabitants of the Akebu Plateau and three immigrant groups: the Ewe, Anyanga, Ntribu. These groups merged with the original Akebu people both culturally and linguistically over the period of about two centuries.
Oroko (2000) writes: "The Akebu have no tribal marks but marks for traditional healing purpose. Gbemgbeni is the traditional woven cloth but it is no longer in use because of the cost of weaving. They now wear any kind of wrapper as well as modern attire. Their original round huts have with time given way to rectangular ones through the influence of Europeans." The Akebu are mostly farmers and hunters. For their own use they grow yam, manioc, taro, corn, rice, funyo and beans. For trade, they grow coffee, cacao, cotton (in the north of the region). Animals they rear are: sheep, goats, dogs, chicken, fowls, ducks, pigeons, pigs and guinea pigs.
The main method of hunting is the bush fire, practiced all over the region in the forests. Akebu women cook on remarkable stoves that have a place for two huge pots over the fire. During the rainy season, they do their cooking inside. Their traditional kitchen house is a work of art and very well equipped and organized. Every kitchen utensil has its place, and the kitchen is very tidy. The inside as well as the outside stoves are beautifully painted and carefully maintained. The Akebu are neighbored by the Akposo, the Adele and the Ntribou (across the border in Ghana). Ewe is the language of wider communication, but very few Akebu speak it fluently. The language variety that more Akebu understand is Gen or Mina, a language closely related to Ewe, but the written materials used in the area are all in Ewe or French. Bible portions are available in Akebu.
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