In the Akan belief system, Nyame is both forgiving and punishing. He is the Supreme God and is One In All. He has male and female characteristics that affirm his All-in-All.
Those who distinguish him as Nyame, Onyankopong, and Odomankoma believe that he represents the natural universe and its kra, or life-giving power. He also embodies the duality of life-death and forgiveness-punishment in his order of creation.
He Who Knows and Sees Everything
Nyame (also known as Onyame or Nyankopon) is the supreme being and creator deity worshiped by the Ashanti and Akan people in the West African country of Ghana. He appears in male and female forms and is one of many gods that link the Akan religious belief system to monotheism. He is omniscient, all-seeing, and all-powerful. He is often identified with the sun and moon. He is also associated with storms and lightning flashes are his thunderbolts.
According to the Akan, every person receives a life force called Kra from the god of the sky, Nyankopon. Whenever a person dies, his soul flies back to Nyankopon to be judged. He will determine whether the soul must return to earth for another reincarnation or whether it can be united with Nyame’s eternal Kra. Nyankopon’s children include Tano, the god of rivers and fate; Asase
He Who Created All Things
One of the supreme deities of the Akan people of Ghana, he is remote from humans and unconcerned about their daily life. He is the father of all lesser spirits, or Abosom. A spark of his fire enters the bloodstream of each man and animates him. Nyame is also a source of fertility and of the universe, one of its enduring mysteries.
He is said to possess the duality of life-death, forgiveness-punishment and male-female polarity. His female side is symbolized by the moon; his male side by the sun.
Nyame, with Nyankopon and Odomankoma, forms a triune deity. Each of them corresponds to a spiritual idea: Nyame represents the revolving universe; Nyankopon, its Kra, or life-giving power; and Odomankoma, its visible world. When it is time for a person to die, the soul will be sent up a hill to Nyankopon to see whether it must return to earth or can proceed on its way to heaven.
He Who Created Man
A male deity of the Akan people, he is the God of the Sky. He is described as omniscient and omnipotent. He is a benevolent god, although aloof and distant. His right eye is the sun, which he opens during the day; his left eye is the moon, which he opens at night.
The nyankopon myth explains how he created humans and what role he plays in their lives. It also teaches about the order of things and how man must cooperate with the world in which he is placed.
The nyankopon is often paired with Nyame, the God of the Earth. Some Akan people distinguish between these two, with Nyame representing the female aspect and being symbolized by the moon; Nyankopon represents the male aspect and being represented by the sun. This distinction reflects African ideas about duality and polarity, including the idea of life-death and forgiveness-punishment duality in the cosmic order of creation.
He Who Created the Earth
According to the Akan belief system, our lifeforce comes from Nyame Amowia, genitrix deity and Creator of everything. The physical manifestation of her is the moon. When a soul dies it returns to her to receive its Kra. It can then either return to earth or reincarnate into another human being. Nyankopon acts on her behalf to judge whether the soul must reincarnate or not.
Some Akan people make a distinction between the three names and identify Nyame as the female element symbolized by the moon, Nyankopon as the male aspect represented by the sun, and Odomankoma as the spirit. Others view the One God as androgynous. Other attributes of Nyame include being all-seeing, omniscient and omnipotent. He also possesses qualities of being forgiving and punishing. Nyame is also known for giving humanity stories. He is father of the trickster-hero Anansi. The other lesser gods are children of Nyame, such as Tano and Bia. He resides in Otumfo.