Modern Berekum lies a hundred miles (160km) northwest of Kumasi at a junction.
Its immediate neighbors are Nsoatre in the east, Seikwa in the north, Gyaman in the west and northwest and Dormaa in the south and south west. It is 36km from Sunyani, the Brong Ahafo Regional capital.
Traditional history has it, that the constituents of modern day Berekum originated by proxy.After one of the many wars fought by the Ashante Kingdom in the 18thcentury, particularly with the Abron people of Gyaman, the Ashante military strategists thought it wise to create a buffer zone between the Asante Empire and what remained of the Gyaman Kingdom.
The then Asantehene Nana Opoku Ware and his advisors decide to leave some of the Ashanti warriors one of whom was Kwaku Tia, who was from Asanti Asokore at Awaasu an area located north of present day Berekum. The Ashanti authorities also left him a number of Abron captives from the war. Their mission was to spy on the Gyaman people and report any attempted plots of rebellion against the Asanteman. Nana Opoku Ware’s military advisors later re - enforced their military presence in the a enviros by adding a contingent from Adanse (which is north of Kumasi) to the Asokore group. These two military contingents were also later joined by a group of civilians from Denkyira.
The events which led to the accidental grouping of the individuals above formed the nucleus of the families of Berekum citizenry to this day.
Historians have it, that the new inhabitants of Awaasu moved from their original location thrice before they settled in present day Berekum. The reason for their move from Awaasu was that they found the land too marshy and probably not too suitable for cultivation. They first move to what is present day Pepease.
Here some of the original warriors died and were buried there. Pepease still serves as the burial place of all chiefs of Berekum. They then migrated to present day Akurofo from where they finally came and settled in Berekum. The reason for their leaving Akurofo is not too clear. What is know however is that Berekum at the time had a lot of game particularly buffalos. This might have served as the attraction.
THE NAME BEREKUM.
The military origin of Berekum was retained in its old name which was. “Asokore – Berekum Domtene.” Dom means a crowd, an assembly, a fighting group or unit of it. “Tene” means a file. So the phrase means “The file of warriors from Asokore at Berekum.” The name Berekum itself can be broken down into two. “Bere” means with difficulty, and Kum means to kill. As stated above, the enviors of present day Berekum had lots of wild animals, but the hunters experienced great difficulty in hunting them down, hence the name “difficult to kill. “Bere na w’akum” now Berekum.
The royal lineage of Berekum descends from Asokore and Adanse migrants and inheritance of the throne runs through the maternal line.
The Asokore line traces it’s roots from one of its members Amankona Diawuo, a maternal relatives of Kwaku Tia the first settler, whiles the Adanses trace their roots from the wife of the first chief of Berekum but particular through one of her sisters who was married to the third Berekum chief. The succession of the Adanses to the throne seems to be accidentally. At one point there was no suitable male successor from the Asokore group. A compromise was made and one of the sons of Nana Amankona Diawuo, Kwaku Diawo was allowed to ascend the throne. As it happens now, Kwaku Diawou’s maternal descendents have largely occupied the Berekum stool.
The lists of chiefs’ enstooled since the beginning are as follows.
Asokore (Maternal line) Adanse (Son's Line)
Amankona Diawuo Kwaku Diawuo
Kyere Diaboa Kyere Yaw
THE TRADITIONAL POLITICAL ORGANISTION OF BEREKUM
Before the Yaa Asantewaa war of (1900 -01) Berekum was a sub – chiefdom and a sub unit of the Kuronti (Bantama) division of Kumasi state. At the time the sub-chiefdom consisted of the “adanpankron” which were nine villages with town halls whose chiefs were the principal concilors of the Berekumhene.
The chiefs were known as “mpanyinfo” (elders) heads of localized lineages.
The members of the adanpankron claim different places of origin and have different traditions of migration into Berekum. It is interesting to note that none of the adanpankron can trace lineage from Kwaku Tia the first settler warrior.
Their stories suggest spasmodic addition to the populations of Berekumrather than the gradual spread of a settled population from some central point as was normal with the central Asante chiefdom.
Listed below are the adanpankron, their villages seats and the villages under their authority.
ADANPANKRON VILLAGES OF LIKELY CANDIDATES
KURONTIRE Senase, Jamdede, Kutre No1, Abi.
BENKUM Nsapor, Nanasuano, Amomaso
NIFA Domfete, Benkasa
ADONTEN Kotaa, Asaapru
ANKOBEA Abisase, Akrofo
TWAFO Adom, Tewbaabi, Amankokwaa
KYIDOM Fetentaa, Kato, Anyinasu, Nkyenkymamu
GYASE Mem pe asem, Botokrom, Jinjini, Mpatasie, Koraso, Nkantanka, Pepaase, Ampenkuro, Domiabra, Kutre No2, Namasua, Kankamamso, Anpekrom, Yakwan
ORIGINS OF THE ADANPANKRON
GYASEHENE:His household include the sons and grandsons of successive chiefs of Berekum of the Asokore group of royals. They are believed to be descendents of Adanse Fomena. The maternal ancestors of this group are believed to have come to Berekum in search of a cure for barreness. She later married Nana Amankona Diawuo the then Berekumhene who made their eldest son Kwasi Date the first Gyasehene.
AKWAMU HENE: This group is claimed to have migrated from Adanse to Bantama, from where they migrated to Awaasu, the first Berekum site.
KURONTIHENE:They are next to the Berekumhene in authority in Berekum and the head of the adanpankron. They claim their lineage originates from Techiman. They found themselves in Berekum through marriage.
BENKUMHENE:This group claims ancestry from Anwanweneso in Akwamu. They are also believed to have come in search of a cure for barrenness (like the Gyasehene group) they first settled at Korase near Drobo and later moved to Berekum when they heard that Tankwasi a deity of Berekum could cure bareness.
NIFAHENE:They claim their origins from Akwamu. It is believed that they were part of a Dormaa group which left Akwamu and after passing through Amakom / Suntreso (all modern Kumasi suburbs), they found their way to Berekum.
TWAFOHENE: They assert Adansi as the home of their ancestors.