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Origin of the name ABRAFO.
Etymology of the name ABRAFO.
Meaning of the baby name ABRAFO.


ABRAFO.  African Ghanaian name, derived from a military term, meaning "executioner."

... The Abrafo are the executioners of the Company, and their emblem is a knife, like an ordinary kitchen knife, with which they attack their victims.  Their duty in battle is to behead those of the enemy killed on the field, who are not removed by their comrades.  Every head must be taken to the Tufuhin, who presents it to the Omanhin, and he has the skulls placed on the Bombaai, or war-drums, whilst the jaw-bones are placed on his war-horns.  The Omanhin may present the skull to the Tufuhin, or, in cases of special valour, to the person who slew the opponent, and such hero might, in addition, be raised to the rank of Captain.
    In peace the Abrafo also found work to do.  When the Company makes any "fetich" custom, blood has to be spilt; this was formerly human blood, but is now generally that of sheep or goats.  The Supi and the Asafompenyin decide who are to be executed, the Supi then gives the Abrafo the order, and these proceed, in cold blood, to carry it out.  The procedure is to catch the victim unawares, either by lying in ambush, or by approaching him in his sleep, and to run the knife through both cheeks, to prevent his speaking; for if he can now only mutter a chief's oath, the Abrafo must release him or be treated as a murderer.—A chief's oath is a challenge to appear, with the swearer, before the chief whose oath is sworn, for explanations, and, once sworn, neither party may prevent the other from appearing.—The Abrafo, having thus silenced his man, proceeds to stun him, and then severs the head from the body, by hacking at the nape of the neck.  When severed, the head is placed on the Company-post of the executing Abrafo, and after decomposition sets in, he removes it to his house, scrapes the skull with his knife, and stores the cleaned trophy inside the Company-post, placing the lower jaw-bone on the Company drums or horns.  Victims for these festivities are nearly always strangers, but if strangers are fortunate enough to be scarce, then slaves are proscribed. (Journal of the African Society, v.14, 1908)


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