Lake Bosumtwi is about 29 miles South-East of Kumase on the Kokofu Asamang Road.
Actually, it is the spiritual centre of the local people.
However, it is associated with many taboos.
In fact, it is said that the lake was discovered by a certain hunter, in the person of Akora (old man) Bompe.
During one of his hunting expeditions in that area he shot at an antelope
Even so, it made off and was later found in a large pool.
While trying to capture the animal, 0ld Bompe saw a large shoal of fish of extraordinary brightness and colour.
For this reason, he concluded that the antelope
must be a god.
Because it had been responsible for his finding the rich collection of luscious fish.
Hence, the lake’s name “Bosumtwi”, meaning “god-antelope”.
It is further said that old Bompe gave some of the fish to his dog.
In order to find out whether it was suitable for consumption.
Quickly, the animal devoured it with unaccustomed relish and without ill effects.
Undoubtedly, the dog grew more lively and robust.
0ld Bompe then tried the fish himself and found it was beyond anything he had ever tasted.
He then scooped out some of the fish and proudly brought them to his master, Akora Gyima.
Unhesitatingly, he also declared them excellent.
Subsequently, 0ld Bompe went to the lake.
Shockingly, he met two strange hunters, one from Kuntenase and the other from Manso.
There arose a squabble amongst the three who had discovered the lake.
They informed their respective Chiefs.
As a result of this, there arose a series of wars in which the Manso people, after having vanquished Kuntenase, declared war on Asaman.
Following that, Manso army was routed and its Chief, Bosompem Ntow, was beheaded by the Asamans.
After these “Wars of the Fish” Nana Akora Gyima became the undisputed owner of the lake.
Besides, his bounty bestowed various fishing rights along the periphery of the lake to friendly neighbouring states.
Therefore, 26 villages grew up on the shores.
Now, however, there are only 24 villages because they were badly stricken with leprosy that the inhabitants decided on mass suïcide.
TABOOS OF THE LAKE
1. No boats are permitted on the lake. Only specially designed logs of the “Odwima” tree are to be used on it.
2. Hooks and snares are forbidden.
3. Crabs are not to be taken out of the lake.
4.Brass pans, bottles, and anything made of steel are not allowed to touch the holy water.
5. Women are forbidden to go near the lake at certain periods.
Infringement of any of these taboos involves elaborate and expensive rites.
Additionally, taxes are levied on the offender’s village.
Apparently, the Asamanhene is the custodian of the lake for Asantehene!