During the Scramble for Africa, European colonial powers divided administrative boundaries not according to the borders of the existing kingdoms and states but rather according to resources and treaties between European nations. Prior to this period many smaller African kingdoms were conquered by larger groups. The Gyaaman state was a victim of both of these fates simultaneously in the late 19th century.
The former Gyaaman state is an example of a former sovereign African kingdom, now in multiple countries. The Gyaaman administrative center in the 1890s was centered in the kingdom's capital of Sampa, which is in modern day Ghana. The center of commerce was in the market town of Bonduku. The French and English reached an agreement to divide their lands at this point.
In the late 19th century, the Gyamaan state was also conquered by the Ashanti people but was soon lost during the Anglo-Ashanti Wars. In 1888 the Gyamanhene (King) Agyeman signed a protection treaty with the French who did not establish a military post in the kingdom. During the period of this treaty, Samori Ture--leader of the Islamic Wassoulou Empire--conquered the lands on the French side of the European agreement; however, he was soon expelled by the French in 1897.