Abosom is the name for the pantheon of gods and goddesses of the Ashanti and other members of the Akan language group. The head of the pantheon is the Supreme God, Nyame. Nyame was the father of the abosom, the gods and goddesses of the pantheon. He sent his four sons to Earth, where they became identified with bodies of water. Beneath the abosom are minor deities called asuman; and beneath the asuman are spirits that animate trees, animals, and charms. Lower still are the nsamanfo, the spirits of the ancestors. The abosom derived their power from Nyame and were said to come from him and be part of him. They served as intermediaries and messengers between Nyame and other beings.
The Ashanti religion is a living religion in western Africa. The following list briefly describes some of the Ashanti deities.
Apo : One of Nyame’s sons; associated with a body of water.
Asaase Afua: One of Nyame’s daughters; the goddess of fertility and procreation.
Asaase Yaa : One of Nyame’s daughters; a powerful earth goddess. Asaase Yaa ruled over Earth’s barren places and was also regarded as the mother of the dead. In some accounts she is given as the mother of Anansi the spider.
Bia (or Bea) : The eldest of Nyame’s sons and Nyame’s favourite.
Bosomtwe : One of Nyame’s sons; associated with a body of water.
Nyame: The Supreme Being and creator of the universe. Nyame was one of a trinity, or triad, of gods. He represented the natural universe; Nyankopon represented its kra, or life-giving power; and Odomankoma represented the creative force that made the visible world. (Not all Akan people make these distinctions among the three names of the deity.)
Tano : The second of Nyame’s sons; god of the Tano River. He was also invoked as a war god. Tano cheated his brother Bia out of his inheritance.