The Fantes are part of the Akans who separated from the Bono people, around 1250 AD. This act became the origin of their name, “Fa-atsew” meaning “the half that left”.
The Fante left their Bono brethren at Krako, present-day Techiman in the Bono East Region of Ghana, and became their own distinct Akan group.
The Fante people were led by three great warriors known as Obrumankoma, Odapagya and Oson (the whale, the eagle and the elephant respectively). According to tradition, Obrumankoma and Odapagya died on this exodus and were embalmed and carried the rest of the way.
Oson led the people to what would become Mankessim in 1252. The land the Fantes reached was initially called Adoakyir by its existing inhabitants, which the Fantes called it “Etsi-fue-yifo” meaning people with bushy hair.
The Fantes conquered these people and renamed the settlement Oman-kesemu, meaning a large town. The name has evolved into the current name, Mankessim.