Queen Pokou was a Princess of Kumasi, Ghana. She was the daughter of Nyakou Kosiama, sister to Dakon, the ill-fated successor of Opoku Ware I, and the niece of Osei Kofi Tutu I (a formidable king who co-founded the Ashanti kingdom).
This powerful princess went ahead to found the Baoule tribe (found in West Africa, now in Ivory Coast ) who are an “Akan” people and one of the largest ethnic groups in Coté d’Ivoire is also called “Awura” or “Abla” by many.
It is believed that she founded her kingdom after she and the group she ruled declined to join the main Ashti confederacy, a decision that led to war. This forced her and her group to move westwards to the Komoé river where she had to sacrifice her only infant son, for her and her group to cross the river.
The legend says that after the human sacrifice, a hippopotamus emerged from the river and formed a bridge that allowed Pokou and her group to cross to the other side.
It is said that a heartbroken Pokou, after crossing to the other side called out “Baouli” which means, “the child is dead” and this led to her descendants being called the “Baoule”.
This fierce princess of Kumasi who became the first Queen of the Baoule people also engaged in wars of conquest which widened the kingdom. Although, she died shortly after creating the Baoule kingdom and was succeeded by her niece Queen Akwa Boni.