The split of Gbi into Peki & Hohoe.

The split of Gbi into Peki & Hohoe.

Gbi Traditional Area and Peki Traditional area are located several towns apart in two different districts in Ghana’s Volta Region – the Hohoe Municipality and South Dayi District.

A few different accounts pertaining to the split have survived through generations of oral narratives.

The most widely spread narrative has it that after the group arrived at the place that became known as Hohoe, they realized a chunk of their members couldn't be accounted for. 

They were left behind.Consequently, the elders selected able men and women from each of the seven clans that formed Gbi to go find their lost kinsmen.  The search team did not return.
 They stopped at Peki. After overcoming several challenges including battles with groups that settled on the land before them, they became the dominant group and integrated peacefully with the people.

Interviews by Antoinette Herrmann-Condobrey with Togbega Gabusu VI, Togbe Kwadzo Dei XI and other Gbis, as well as various documentations by historians on the Notse Kingdom, all point to the same story line – that Agokoli was ruthless.

Togbe Agokoli VI, on the other hand, had something very different to add; claims that expectedly surprise many. According to him, Agorkoli I was not the ruthless tyrant that the world came to know him as. Instead, he was an overly protective leader who went all lengths to keep his kingdom safe. Aggression was the order of the day during those ancient times – Agokoli VI emphasized, explaining that his ancestor's main goal was to protect his subjects from enemies who constantly invaded, attacked and defeated weaker groups. To succeed in keeping his people safe, Agokoli ensured that his kingdom was on top of its game by putting in place many of the measures that have been described as ruthless. For Agokoli VI, the Great Wall, described as a symbol of oppression, was rather proof of how protective a leader Agokoli I was, and the extent to which the king went in trying to keep his people safe.

The most shocking part of Agokoli VI's version of the story, perhaps, is his assertion that those who escaped from the kingdom are believed to be lazy and uncooperative subjects who couldn't keep up with the rules of a no-nonsense leader.

Other, slightly different versions of this story, exist in scattered forms - most of which point to the ruthlessness of Agokoli I - the versions believed mostly to have led to the rebellion and collapse of the Notsie Kingdom.
Distortions may account for some of the differences in the narratives. However, a holistic look at the different versions also suggests that what appears to be inconsistencies may well be a representation of different parts of the story as dealt with by the Gbis on their way to finding a settlement.


Nearly two centuries after their split, the Gbis reconnected. Among the many things the group has done to reinforce their bond is labeling the two areas as Gbi-Dzigbe: Uphill Gbi (for Gbi Traditional Area) and Gbi-Anyigbe: Downhill Gbi (for Peki Traditional Area); or: Gbi North and Gbi South respectively.

The most prominent of the steps taken toward reunification of the two groups of towns is the founding of the Gbi Community Festival: Gbi Dukor Za (Gbidukorza), which celebrates the reunification of Gbis. The festival is celebrated annually in rotation between Peki Traditional Area and Gbi Traditional Area.  

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