When the Portuguese arrived in the 15th century, the Fante prevented them from venturing inland and leased properties for Portuguese trading missions. But when the Portuguese objected to Fante rules and regulations, the Fante expelled them. Thereafter the Dutch arrived, followed by the British. The Fante served as middlemen in the commerce between the interior and British and Dutch traders on the coast.
In the early 18th century, the Fante Confederacy was formed, with the aim of establishing themselves as a nation to be taken seriously by their European counterparts. So in 1844 a bond was written between the Fante, on behalf of the Gold Coast, and the British, allowing the Gold Coast to gain independence without war one hundred years later. Several Ashanti-Fante wars followed. On one occasion, the Fante were aided by the British, who, however, destroyed the strong Fante confederation established between 1868 and 1872, believing it a threat to their hegemony on the coast.
One of the social contexts of names among the Akan, including the Fante, is that they are used as social tags to indicate personal and group identity. This is so with family names derived from the patrilineal clans of the fathers that are given to children. Each of the 12 patrilineal clans has its peculiar family names. It is thus possible to use one’s name to trace his/her patrilineal clan. Children who trace their genealogy to one patrilineal father may therefore share similar family names.Typical family names include Yankah, Osam, Aidoo, etc. There have also been innovations as a result of westernisation, education and foreign religion. Multiple names have also developed out of this phenomenon. Also, some Fante names are translated literally into English and such anglicised names have come to stay as family names. One can argue that the Fantes living on the coast were the first to be in contact with the Europeans. It is therefore possible that the trend is a western influence. Examples of such anglicised transformational name are:
Dua (lit tree/board) – Wood
Kuntu (blanket ) – son of Kuntu Blankson
Kumi ba (child of Kumi) – Kumson or Koomson
Kwei ba (child of Kwei) – Quayson, Quayeson, Kweison or Kwaeson
Akorɔma (hawk) – Hawkson
ɛbo (stone) – RocksonAccordingly, some family names can also be identified by the suffix, for example:
-son as in Yawson
-ful, as in Arkorful
-ney, as in Biney.
Yɛ nipa dodɔ
Babi yɛ wo paa
Languages (Kasa tiriw)