Second largest segment of the Akan peoples of the southern coast of Ghana. The Fante speak a language of the Kwa group of Niger-Congo languages. As intermediaries in colonial-era trade between the Asante to the north and the Europeans to the south, the Fante established several independent kingdoms that formed a confederacy in the late 17th century. The confederacy aided the British in wars against the Asante in the 19th century but was disbanded in 1873 under British pressure. The Akan peoples all together make up about half of the population of Ghana. An important Fante organization called the asafo began as a military group, but in contemporary society it serves mostly political, social, and religious functions.
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