Head and shoulders portrait of the Konor holding his son in his arms. The photograph is part of a series of British Official photographs (Crown Copyright Reserved) issued under the general title 'Native Administration - State of Manya Krobo'. The following typewritten caption is stuck on the reverse: 'The Gold Coast Colony is divided up into seventeen Administrative Districts. In the Volta River District in the Eastern Province, it consists of five native states with a total population of about 860,000 and spread over an area of some 1,258 square miles. One of these states is Manya Krobo. Manya Krobo has a population of 84,797 and covers an area of about 250 square miles. Although not a large state, it holds a high place amongst the states of the Gold Coast Colony by reason of its advanced and enlightened Native Administration. The Kroboes are a hard-working agricultural people. Their country consists of a flat open plain traversed by several isolated rocky ranges one of which is Krobo Mountain, rising to a height of 1,109 feet. It was on top of this mountain that the Krobos settled in 1750 organising themselves into six tribes for military and political purposes. Each tribe has its own ruler and from one of these the Paramount Chief of Konor is elected by a Council of Electers. In 1892 Emmanuel Matekole was elected Konor, he was the first literate ruler and was educated at the Basel Mission. The accession of Matekolo inaugurated an era of progress and prosperity for Manya Krobo. By this time the Kroboes had descended from their mountain retreat and ancestral home on Krobo Mountain. They bought land from neighbouring tribes and took to farming, growing food stuffs and palm kernels (which today are being exported in thousands of tons to Britain), cocoa and to the production of palm oil which lead to their present prosperity. Roads were built and justice was administered throughout the State by the tribal rulers themselves, the Government eventually granting certain judicial powers to the Paramount Chief and sub-chiefs. In 1895 the Government appealed to the late Konor for help against the Ashantis to which he readily responded, fighting on the side of the British forces with great distinction. The Konor was the first Native ruler to be appointed to the Legislative Council of the Gold Coast. In 1922 he received the King's Medal for African Chiefs and in 1929 was appointed a Knight Bachelor by His Majesty the King in recognition of his long service to the State. By the end of the reign of Sir Emmanuel Matekole, his people had advanced a long way from their ancestral home on Krobe Mountain. On his death his son was unanimously elected as the present Konor. The present Konor, also literate, was educated at Achimota College near Accra. On leaving school he joined the Government Police and very quickly rose from the ranks to the post of sub-inspector'. The photograph is dated circa 1945.
RCS Photograph Collection, Y3011U - Institute of Education Collection.
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