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Preceded only by Nyame (Creator) in power and importance, Asase Yaa (also referred to as Aberewa [old woman] and Mother Earth) is the second Great Spirit revered within Akan cosmology. The Akan regard the earth as a female spirit because of her fertility and power to bring forth life and further personalize her as a mother because human beings depend on her for their continual nurturance and sustenance. She is of paramount importance to the Akan because it is through Asase Yaa, by way of libation and dance, that they gain access to and maintain familial connections with the ancestors.

Named according to the Akan tradition of “day-naming,” she is most often referred to as Asase (Earth) Yaa (female born on Thursday) because most Akan believe ...

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