The Akan comprise a cluster of peoples living in southern and central Ghana and in southeastern Ivory Coast. They form a series of distinct kingdoms and share a common language, known as Twi, which has many dialects. Twi is a tonal language and, since missionary work during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, has been written in Roman script.
The total Akan population numbers some five or six million. The main constituent kingdoms include Akyem, Akwamu, Akuapem, and Kwahu; the Anyi cluster of some fifteen kingdoms; Asante (with Ahanta and Wasa); the Attie cluster of four kingdoms; the Baule cluster of some seven kingdoms; Brong; and the several Fante states.