Know Your Roots

The Ewe Tribe, Their Names And Meanings

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The Ewe people are an African ethnic group. They are the largest group in Togo, the third largest ethnic group in Ghana, and a minority ethnic group in southern Benin and south western Nigeria. They speak the Ewe language which belongs to the Niger-Congo family of languages.

They are related to other speakers of Gbe languages such as Fon, Gen, Phla Phera and the Aja people of Togo and Benin. Demographics Ewe people are located primarily in the coastal regions of West Africa, in the region south and east of the Volta river to around the Mono River at the Togo and Benin border. They are particularly found in the Volta Region of south eastern Ghana (formerly called British Togoland), southern Togo (formerly referred to as French Togoland) and in south western parts of the Republic of Benin.

The Ewe region is sometimes referred to as the Eweland or Ewedukor region (Togoland in colonial literature). Currently they have a large presence in Accra, the capital of the Republic of Ghana and in Kumasi, the Ashanti Regional capital also in Ghana. They are also found in the Ivory Coast and Yorubaland in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The Ewes have a unique culture and is one of the few tribal groupings in West Africa which has names with meanings. Besides that, most of the names are in praise of the Almighty God. This started long before the arrival of the Europeans onto the West African soil a little over five hundred years ago. The colonizers or Europeans did not show them who God was. The Ewes knew God (who they called Mawu sogbolisa, Mawu kitikata, Mawu adanuwotor etc.) way before the arrival of these Europeans with Christianity in the 18th. century.

This piece deals with Ewe names and their meanings. We should also not that most Ewe names are unisex. NAMES — MEANINGS Afefa — Peaceful/Calm house Afeke — Root of the house Afelete — Established home Afetsi — Home pillar Agbe — Life

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