The Ewe have a migration tradition which places the origin of their ancestors in a place called Ketu in what is now the country of Benin. They travelled to Notsie in Togo during the 16th century where they remained for some time until oppression caused them to migrate further east to the Volta Region, splitting into parties which settled along the coast, inland, and in the mountain regions.
The traditions of the Abutia people name a number of places not now to be seen on maps where they attempted to settle after leaving Notsie. One account (Dugbazah) lists "Ketu, Tovledu and Agbenutodzi" among their temporary settlements, another (KY-SA) stating that Tovledu was near present-day Bator, and that the direction of travel was inland. The last of these places appears to have been close to their present dwelling places, but did not satisfy the womenfolk because it required them to make frequent journeys downhill to fetch water, which therefore had to be carried uphill (to = mountain; dzi = on). Their complaints are variously recorded as "Abua lialia ti mi" and "Abua didi ti ame" which express the 'ɖeɖiteameŋu' or tedium of their task, from which phrases the people name is derived. From Agbenutodzi the people finally moved "downhill" to form the three foundational villages listed below.
Toponyms: Abutia Agove, Abutia Kloe, Abutia Teti
The seven main villages of the Alavanyo people are located on, and to the south of, the road which runs east from Ahenkro to Wegbe, which is a few miles south of Hohoe. It is said that Alavanyo means 'all will be well' in Ewe, which may have originated in the new-found optimism of those migrating from Togo in search of freedom. The village names, listed below, are commonly seen without the people-name prefix. Interestingly, there is a place called Alavanyo in Togo, about 17 miles north-east of Hohoe.
Goefe (Go's Home). Disagreements with local people resulted in a further move north-west to their present homeland in the Klito highlands, where they founded what is now the seat of their paramountcy, Goviefe Todzi ('the home of Go's children on the mountain').
Adakluto (Mt. Adaklu) seen from HoAs the years passed and the community grew, satellite villages were founded on and around the mountain, which in chronological order are Akloba, Gbogame, Agodome, and lastly Kowu. These five villages make up the 'division' of Goviefe. According to K. Kwaku, two more divisions to the north of Goviefe, namely Woadze and Have, also claim Go as their apical ancestor, though there is apparently some debate as to whether this person was male (Go) or female (Goe). The three divisions therefore make up a traditional 'state' which is known as Goeviwodutaeto, or 'the three towns of the children of Goe'. GPN contributor, Felix Kuadugah, comments that another way of reading the ethnonym 'Goviefe' is 'Home of the Little Gourds'. He explains that "Most Ewe surnames are appellations that are shortened", which is therefore likely to be the reason for the name of this people group's ancestor.
The Liati communities are located near the mountains south of Hohoe. The name is said (Ghana@50) to derive from a variant of the Notsie narrative, according to which the Ewe people escaped from their tyrannical host, Togbui Agokoli, in Togo, by breaching the wall encircling the city. It is reputed that some instead 'climbed trees' (lia ti), from which action derives their name.
Toponyms: Liati Agbonyira, Liati Wote