THE ASHANTI EMPIRE (1670 - 1957) (ALSO KNOWN AS ASANTE) WAS ONE OF THE MOST PROLIFIC AFRICA HAS EVER SEEN AND REIGNED OVER A LARGE PART OF PRESENT DAY GHANA (WEST AFRICA) ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE IVORY COAST FOR OVER 300 YEARS.

The Ashanti Empire is well known for being fierce and conquering vast lands across pre-colonial West Africa during its peak.This great Kingdom has seen many kings that made this achievement possible..By then, it was known as the Kwaaman State and so his title was Kwaamanhene and not Kumasehene. He’s known as the first King of the Ashanti Kingdom and the one most Ashantis trace their genealogy to.The next King to succeed Nana Twum Antwi was Kobia Amamfi and he reigned in the year 1600 to 1630 before his demise.Next in line was Otumfour Nana Oti Akenten who reigned from 1630 to 1660.Otumfour Nana Obiri YeboaHe reigned from 1660 to about 1680, his length of reign is not well documented but he lasted for a while.

The Oyoko clan of the Ashanti had settled around lake Bosomtwe near Kumasi, a rich, inland area at the junction of trade routes that would become the future empire’s capital. Under Denkyiran dominance, this clan nevertheless rose to prominence.Obiri Yeboa (1660 – 1680) of the Oyokos never saw his ambitions for the future of the Ashanti, united and free from Denkyira come to fruition. But during his reign, he planted the seeds for unification that his nephew and successor Osei Tutu  would use.Sharing his uncle’s dreams, Osei Tutu had a carefully thought-out plan to overthrow the Denkyira. The first step was uniting the other Ashanti clans, and for that, he would need an air of authority. He took the title of asantehene , or “king of the Ashanti” a lofty title, for people who had had, until this point, only clan kings , and started the tradition of the Sika ‘dwa, “golden stool”.According to the legend, Okomfo Anokye, Tutu’s chief priest and advisor, called a meeting of all the heads of each Ashanti clan. In this meeting, the priest conjured a golden stool down from the heavens and into Osei Tutu’s lap. Such seats were traditionally symbolic of a chief’s leadership, but this one embodied the spirit of the Ashanti people as a whole. The Ashanti chiefs immediately swore allegiance to the stool and Osei Tutu as the Asantehene, forming the Ashanti Union around 1700.The city Kumasi — so named because Osei Tutu sat under the Kum tree during territorial negotiations  a crossroads of trade routes on land rich in gold and kola nuts, became the empire’s capital. The first asantehene designed a new constitution and formed a council of the heads of the states. The annual Odwira festival cemented the union.With those alliances firmly secured, Osei Tutu led his new army to defeat the Denkyira. Their victory allowed the Ashanti access to the European trade spilling in from the coast. Due to that, the empire tripled in size, becoming a strong, war-focused nation. Osei Tutu died in battle during a campain against Akyem, another Akan state.Osei Tutu’s chosen successor, Opoku Ware (r. c. 1717 – 1750) created the Great Oath of the Ashanti as a means to further unify his people. The words “Koromante ne memeneda” — referring to the day (Sunday) and place (Koromante) of Osei Tutu’s death — made binding and unrecantable any pledge with which it was uttered. The oath played an important role in pledges of allegiance because it bound the chiefs and their asantehene together forever.During his rule, Opoku Ware expanded and consolidated the Empire’s reach and power. He quickly subjugated Sehwi, Gyaman, and even Akwamu. Incorporating these large areas into the Ashanti empire made the domain stretch to encompass most of modern-day Ghana. A notable challenge was a decade-long war with Akyem, whose defeat in 1742 spread the Ashanti’s political and economic domination to the coast. The empire became the Gold Coast’s largest trader of captives, gold and ivory.Opoku Ware’s later years focused on the centralization of the administration. He weakened the power of provincial chiefs by increasing the number of subordinates who reported directly to the asantehene. This led to revolts by the provincial chiefs, as well as subjugated people like the Akyem and Wassaw, who siezed the chance to revolt for independence. By the time of his death, in 1750, Opoku Ware had ultimately forced the chiefs to accept his reorganization of the empire, preventing the nation from falling apart, for now.The ancestors of most coastal peoples, the Ashanti and Fante included, migrated west from lands possibly as far as Lake Chad and the Benue river. After crossing the lower Niger river, they made their way through the forests of modern-day Benin and Togo before reaching the Ghanaian coast.In these lands, rich in gold and kola nuts, mainstays of trade, the Ashanti, as well as their other Akan cousins, prospered.By the 16th century, with the affluent trade economy of the region, a number of highly developed Akan states had emerged: The Bono in the north, the Denkyira, Akwamu, Fante and Ashanti to the south. Over the 16th and 17th centuries, the Denkyira quickly grew to dominate and exercise control over the smaller southern states.Oral histories all agree that the Ashanti were originally part of a unified Akan clan that included the Fante, Wassaw and other Twi-speaking people. But it is in the specifics of its subsequent division that stories begin to diverge.In one legend, it is Fulani invaders, destroying the Akan’s crops and forcing them to forage for edible plants, that spurs this division. One group collected fan while the other gathered shan in order to survive. They drifted apart and came to be called the Fan-dti and Shan-dti.Another story points to a dispute with a local king. A group of loyal subjects gifted fan to the king out of tribute, while the rebellious subjects attempted to poison him with the deadly herb asun. The groups were then described as the Fan-ti and Asun-ti.Yet another history describes a different dispute between two factions of the Akan clan. One group left the kingdom and became known as the Fa-tsiw-fu (people who cut themselves from the main body). The Akan who stayed behind rejected a request by the king to restore peace among the two groups. As a result, the remaining people were called the Asua-tsiw-fu.When Kusi Obodum (r. c. 1750-1764) was deposed, Osei Kwadwo (r1764 – 1777) took the golden stool. Most of his reign was spent putting down rebellions — from the Twifo, Wassaw and Akyem — initially with the help of the Fante until their alliance broke down. Eventually, he managed to stabilize the realm. He even expanded it by conquering Dagomba to the north, where he acquired a large number of captives who were brought to the coast and sold to the Europeans.Osei Kwadwo made some administrative changes to the empire, installing Ashanti nobles as administrators to oversee the provinces. He also sent representatives to the coast to ensure the European traders paid rent for their forts and castles, giving the Ashanti greater control over the coast.While the Ashanti were expanding their trade networks towards the interior, British merchants and expeditionary forces kept flooding the coast in ever increasing numbers, in hopes of monopolizing coastal trade. This would be the beginning of the empire’s decline in the 19th century. The ever-rising tensions would lead to a century of wars between the Ashanti and the British.Some of the smaller African states, like the Fante and Denkyira, welcomed the British as potential allies against the powerful Ashanti. The root of their rivalry was their Ashanti masters’ habit of raiding their neighbors for captives which were sold for European goods or forced to work in the gold fields.Tensions rose until the Ashanti sent an estimated 10,000 warriors to expel a smaller force of British, Fante and Denkyira soldiers from their territory in 1824. They displayed the head of the defeated British governor Charles MacCarthy (1769 – 1824) in the capital of Kumasi as a warning to any who would have designs on their territory.Two years later, the British avenged their loss, defeating the Ashanti at Kantamanto. The Ashanti were forced to relinquish their claims on many coastal people, including the Fante and Akyem.he next few decades were relatively peaceful, until the British bought the remaining Dutch forts along the Gold Coast, making them the only European force in the region. Although the Ashanti were skilled bowmen, musketeers and spearsmen, they could not defeat the British artillery that marched on Kumasi. Once again the Ashanti had to renounce their claims to all territories south of the Pra river. Britain formally declared the Gold Coast Colony over the entire coast by 1874. Although the Ashanti’s influence declined over the next 15 years, they were not ready to give up just yet.The Ashanti rebuilt their strength, but the British, threatened by the French colonial claims, decided to secure their claim to the interior regions of their colony. In 1895-96, they assailed Kumasi with cannon fire, forcing the asantehene Agyeman Prempeh (1870 – 1931) to accept exile in order to avoid full-scale war and the destruction of the capital.By 1901, the Ashanti were no longer willing to tolerate the foreign occupation. Yaa Asantewa (1850 – 1912), the mother of a prominent chief, and a fierce military leader took leadership. She launched offensives to reclaim their capital. Despite early victories, the arrival of British reinforcements from Nigeria and Sierra Leone, combined with superior fire-power, was overwhelming. Witnesses claimed that Yaa Asantewa was the last Ashanti to lay down arms. The defeat cemented the British claim on the Gold Coast, marking the end of the Anglo-Ashanti wars, and the beginning of the colonial era in British West Africa.Ancestor worship establishes the Ashanti moral system, and it provides thus the fundamental foundation for governmental sanctions. The link between mother and child centers the entire network, which includes ancestors and fellow men as well. Its judicial system emphasizes the Ashanti conception of rectitude and good behavior, which favors harmony among the people. The rules were made by the gods and the ancestors and one must behave accordingly.

The Ashanti Empire is well known for being fierce and conquering vast lands across pre-colonial West Africa during its peak.This great Kingdom has seen many kings that made this achievement possible and so we took it upon ourselves to show you all the rulers that ever ascended the throne of the Ashanti Kingdom.Two years later, the British avenged their loss, defeating the Ashanti at Kantamanto. The Ashanti were forced to relinquish their claims on many coastal people, including the Fante and Akyem.

The Ashanti people that inhabit the area of modern Ghana, belong to the wider ethnic group – Akan. With the strengthening of the political and economic power of the highly organized Ashanti Federation (from the 17th century onwards), art under its patronage flourished.Mainly in the service of the king - Asantehene, as well as the ruling classes in a society that had both formally and symbolically represented the state itself, art was the inevitable medium of communication. Through it the message was delivered to subjects, allies, enemies, but also to the spirits of the deceased, who, as it was believed, even after death took part in the lives of their offspring. Material, motifs, symbols, the order of elements and the context in which a certain object was shown, determined the nature of the message, as well as the ones that received them.The establishment of meaningful analogies between oral culture and art has produced a certain style the result of the interaction of various branches of creativity, and this style is manifest in certain motifs and their “transfer” from one type of the object to the other. That is why certain ornaments found on stools appeared on textiles as well, and from textiles they were transferred to palace walls, which then inspired the production of jewellery and gold-weights. By learning the social understanding of symbols, materials, colours that are repeated throughout the art corpus of the Ashanti, the observer is a witness to a whole world in which every one of these elements, like a ray that cuts through a prism of meaning, turns into an active social sign.The Asante region of southern Ghana is a remnant of the Ashanti Empire, which was founded in the early 17th century when, according to legend, a golden stool descended from heaven into the lap of the first king, Osei Tutu. The stool is believed to house the spirit of the Ashanti people in the same way that an individual's stool houses his spirit after death.The Asante number 1,5 million. The early Asante economy depended on the trade of gold and enslaved peoples to Mande and Hausa traders, as well as to Europeans along the coast. In return for acting as the middlemen in the slave trade, the Asante received firearms, which were used to increase their already dominant power, and various luxury goods that were incorporated into Asante symbols of status and political office. The forest surrounding the Asante served as an important source of kola nuts, which were sought after for gifts and used as a mild stimulant among the Muslim peoples to the north. In traditional Asante society, in which inheritance was through the maternal line, a woman's essential role was to bear children, preferably girls.The art of Ashanti can be classified into two main groups: metalwork (casts of brass or gold using a lost-wax method and objects made of hammered metal sheets) and woodcarvings. Fertility and children are the most frequent themes in the wooden sculptures of the Asante. Thus the most numerous works are akua’ba fertility figures and mother-and-child figures called Esi Mansa. The acua’ba are dolls with disk-shaped heads embodying their concept of beauty and carried by women who want to become pregnant and to deliver a beautiful child. The fame of these objects derives from a legend asserting that a woman who has worn one will give birth to a particularly beautiful daughter. A Ghanaian source indicates another use: when a child disappeared, the acua’ba statue was placed with food and silver coins at the edge of the forest to attract the malevolent spirit responsible: the spirit would then exchange the child for the statue. Sculptured mother-and-child figures show the mother nursing or holding her breast. Such gestures express Asante ideas about nurturing, the family, and the continuity of a matrilineage through a daughter or of a state through a son. The mother-and-child figures are kept in royal and commoner shrines where they emphasize the importance of the family and lineage. The Asante are famous for their ceremonial stools carved with an arched sit set over a foot, referring to a proverb or a symbol of wisdom. They are usually made for a chief when he takes office and are adorned with beads or copper nails and sheets. In rare cases, when the chief is sufficiently important, the stool is placed in a special room following his death to commemorate his memory. Ashanti chairs are based on 17th-century European models and, unlike stools; do not have any spiritual function. They are used as prestige objects by important chiefs during festivities or significant gatherings.Also are produced staffs for royal spokesmen, which, like the handles of state swords, are covered in gold foil. The success of the Ashanti Empire depended on the trade in gold not only with Europeans at the coast but also with the Muslim north. Gold dust was the currency, weighed against small brass weights that were often geometric or were representations recalling well-known proverbs. Asante weavers developed a style of weaving of great technical mastery, incorporating imported silk. The Asante developed remarkably diverse kuduo containers cast of copper alloys. Kuduo were used in many ways. They held gold dust and other valuables, but could also be found in important political and ritual contexts. Some kuduo were buried with their owners, while others were kept in the palace shrine rooms that housed the ancestral stools of deceased state leaders. Life and the afterlife, the present and the past, were enhanced and made more meaningful by the presence of these elegant prestige vessels.The mingling during intercourse of the male spirit (ntoro) with the female blood causes conception. In the eighth month the mother goes to her mother's house. The period of childbirth excludes males. The mother assisted by four midwives gives birth in a sitting position. The child receives its name at birth, given the name of the particular day of its birth. The midwives cut the umbilical cord against a piece of wood and the infant is then bathed. Unlike other cultures, the afterbirth is discarded without ritual burial.During the first eight days, the Ashanti consider the baby a ghost child, uncertain whether the child will live or die. A ghost mother in the spirit world lost this child and will make an attempt to get it back, it is believed. If the child still lives, the family holds a ceremony to affirm that the child is a                 true human baby and the child receives a patronym of a paternal grandfather or grandmother and thus binds it to its fathers line, the ntoro. The day name remains important and is used more frequently.The Ashanti kill twins only in the royal family. Ordinarily, boy twins become fly switchers at court and twin girls potential wives of the King. If the twins are a boy and girl no particular career awaits them. Women who bear triplets are greatly honored because three is regarded as a lucky number. Special rituals ensue for the third, sixth, and ninth child. The fifth child (unlucky five) can expect misfortune. Families with many children are respected and barren women derided.Indulgent parents are typical among the Ashanti. Childhood is a happy time and children are not responsible for their actions. the child has not power to do good or evil until after puberty. the death of a child does not require a funeral. Though there is no lack of sentiment, they bury these pot children (named for the receptacle used for burial) in the refuse dump without ceremony. A child is harmless and there is no worry for the control of its soul, the original purpose of all funeral rites.The Ashanti hold puberty rites only for girls. Fathers instruct their sons without public observance. As menstruation approaches, a girl goes to her mother's house. When the the girl's menstruation is disclosed, the mother announces the good news in the village beating an iron how with a stone.The Ashanti also allow a woman a divorce for impotence, adultery, laziness, witchcraft, desertion, or for taking a wife without her permission, if she is a senior wife.Among the Ashanti, polygyny is very common and legal. But the senior wife must be consulted. Seemingly, in this agricultural society, jealousy is infrequent, for the woman likes to have a co-wife to lighten the work. Additional wives add to the husband's prestige and status.People loath being alone for long without someone available to perform this rite before the ill collapse. The family washes the corpse and dress it in its best clothes and adorn it with packets of gold dust (soul money), ornaments, and food for the journey "up the hill." The body is buried within 24 hours. Until that time the funeral party engage in dancing, drumming, shooting of guns, and much drunkenness, all accompanied by the wailing of relatives.The Day of Rising occurs the sixth day after death when the soul is finally dispatched from the vicinity. the blood relatives shave their heads and put the hair into a pot. They sacrifice and cook a sheep. They carry the food, utensils, and the pot of hair to a special place in the cemetery where the ghost of the deceased will find them and take them for his journey. They then resume normal life, except the resume mourning on the eighth, fifteenth, fortieth, and eightieth days, and at one year.Of course, funeral rites for the death of a King involve the whole kingdom and are much more of an elaborate affair. The Ashanti, like other west coast kingdom, are known for human sacrifices at the death of a King. A number of the King's wives are strangled, the aristocratic method of  death, in order to accompany the King into the afterworld, along with representatives of the palace staff. These victims are expected to enjoy this honor and sometimes volunteer. Throughout the districts of the kingdom sacrifices of slaves, criminals, and waylaid strangers occur while the King lies in state.The greatest and most frequent ceremonies of the Ashanti recall the spirits of departed rulers with an offering of food and drink, asking their favor for the good of all the people. Called the Adae, these ceremonies occur every 21 days The day before the Adae, talking drums announce the approaching ceremonies. The stool treasurer gathers sheep and liquor which will be offered. The priest chief officiates the Adae in the stool house where the ancestors come  The priest offers each food and drink. The public ceremony occurs outdoors, where all join the dancing. Minstrels chant tribal traditions; the talking drums extoll the chief and the ancestors in traditional phrases.Osei Tutu and his priest Komfo Anokye unifed the independent chiefdoms into a powerful political and military power in the region. The new national spirit and dynasty developed through the invention of the Golden Stool, which Komfo Anokye brought down from the heavens represented the ancestors of all the Ashanti. And upon that Stool Osei Tutu established his rule and the Empire. His new state extended its power, territory, and strength. The Empire buckled only in 1874 before the military and imperialistic might British. By that time the Ashanti had become one people and have remained so firmly until today.

Otumfour Nana Prempeh I,within the period, there was an interim council which was chaired by Kofi Owusu from 11th June 1884 to November 1884 due to the civil war. The chairmanship was handed to Akyampon Panyin from November 1884 to 1887 before the throne was handed to the Manponghene, Nana Owusu Sekyere II who acts as a regent for the Kingdom in 1887 to 26 March 1888.After the demise of Nana Osei Tutu Agyeman Prempeh II, the throne was ascended by Otumfour Nana Opoku Ware II on the 6th July 1970. He reigned as Asantehene till 26 February 1999.

The former Gold Coast (now Ghana) has a variable terrain  coasts and mountains; forests and grasslands, fertile agricultural areas and near deserts. The Ashanti territory is inland and located centrally  mostly fertile and partly mountainous. There are two seasons -- the rainy (April to November) and the dry. The land is well-drained by numerous streams; the dry season, however is very dry. It is hot all year round.Ashanti is a bit more healthy than the coast. But like West Africa in general malaria remains a scourge and there are numerous fevers -- backwater, yellow, relapsing, typhoid, typhus, cholera, and others. Leprosy, elephantiasis, and sleeping sickness are the more spectacular diseases; intestinal and skin parasites, however occur more frequently.In the mid 1970s the Ashanti numbered more than 200,000, speaking Twi, a member of the Niger-Congo language group. (The Ashanti are now about 28% of a Ghana population of between 5 and 7 million people. There political power has waxed and waned since Ghana become the first modern independent African nation.) They lived in scattered villages and larger towns, with some more than 1,000.The houses of the poor are plastered wattle-and-daub construction domed by a thatched roof of grass, formed in compounds of connected buildings arranged around a court. The larger towns have palaces, whose walls are of sun-baked clay, enclosing many rooms. Artistic scroll designs adorn the walls and posts and wide verandas encircle the house. The roofs of the larger house use leaves sewn together, shingle like.The Ashanti are an agricultural people and the land so extensively farmed that hunting with large animals scarce plays a negligible role in economic activity. They obtain fish usually through trade from coastal groups specialized as fishermen. Dogs, goats, and fowl are frequently found; especially chicken, for the Ashanti us them in sacrifices and divination as well as food. In some districts, sheep, pigs, and cattle are kept.The Ashanti prepare the fields by burning before the onset of the rainy season and cultivated with an iron hoe. Fields are fallowed for several years after two to four years of cultivation. Plants cultivated include plantains, yams, manioc, corn; sweet potatoes, millet, beans, onions, peanuts, tomatoes, and many fruits. Of course, manioc and corn are New World transplants introduced during the Atlantic European trade.Many of these vegetables crops can be harvested twice a year and the cassava (manioc), after a two-year growth, provides a starchy roots daily. The Ashanti transform at times palm wine, maize and millet into beer, a favorite drink; and make use of the oil from palm for many culinary and domestic uses.The Ashanti are expert craftsmen. Ironworking by bellows and charcoal fire is a specialized craft. Their blacksmiths make work tools such as ax and hoe blades, knives, daggers, projectiles, nails, hammers; in addition to many ornaments -- bells, chains, etc. Handmade pottery is also a specialized craft, as well as woodcarving, which in many cases approaches high art in figurines and stools and collected in both Europe and America.Initially, the Ashanti made clothing from bark. But in the 17th century, they learned the art of weaving. Clothing production is also gender specialized. Women grown and pick the cotton and spin it into thread. The weaving performed along family lines is men's work. Traditionally the Ashanti weaver uses a small horizontal loom and produces a narrow bolt. They weave artistic designs into the fabric or stamp it with dye. The great ceremonial umbrellas that shelter chiefs receive special attention from these craftsmen. Related to the Golden Stool, the umbrella called Katamanso, "The Covering of the Nation," is made of camel's hair and wool. A ornamental figurine, plated with gold or silver, tops all ceremonial umbrellas.The Ashanti invented also a "talking drum." They drum messages to the extent of 200 miles, as rapid as a telegraph. Ashanti language is tonal and more meaning is generate by tone than in English. The drums reproduce these tones, punctuation, and the accents of a phrase so that the cultivated ear hears the phrase itself. The Ashanti readily hear and understand whole phrases produced by the drum. Stock phrases call for meetings of the chiefs and to arms, warn of danger, and transmit notice of the death of important personages Some drums are used for proverbs and ritual performance.The household, the basis of economic and social life, is often polygynous. In Ashanti the female line (matrilineality) is of great significance. Through the mother, male or female are related by blood to others and this kinship determines land rights, inheritance of property, offices and titles. One derives also from this line social and political status, and the focus of ancestor cult, upon which religious activity is based. The blood produces emotional ties, for it is the mother's blood that creates the child's body.The father catalyzes the conception and provides the spirit (ntoro) to the child, that is, the child receives its life force from the father. Its character and personality reflects that of the father. Though not considered as important as the mother, the male fine continues in the place of birth after marriage, that is, the wife leaves her family home. The male line thus create a patrilineal village. In a sense, every person has two lines -- one provides the blood, land, and inheritance, and the other, the spirit.The female line also establishes the clan, abusua, all who descend from a common female ancestor. The ntoro and abusua lines are totemic (associated with plant or animal that worked with or helped the ancestors) and practice food taboos and prohibit marriages with fellow members.The abusua ancestors own the land and are buried in it. No individual Ashanti owns land, but rather occupies that which came down from an ancestor. The products produced from the land can be owned individually. But the occupier cannot be removed from the land nor can the land be sold, nor determine which of his descendants get a major share. Because the land is matrilineal, a man's good are passed to his brother, if he dies young, or passed to his sister's sons.. Certain goods, if agreed by the abusua, can be passed from father to son.Property made or acquired by individual efforts can be possessed by both and women. Heirlooms and carved stools -- all possessions of family and lineage property -- can be disposed of by individuals.Trade occurs at both the state and local levels. The state runs the import-export business and other local trade takes place in local market towns, where handicrafts and food products are exchanged. This minor trade tends to be conducted by women, though in the interest of the household. Traditionally, local trade involves much haggling whether exchanges occur through barter directly or cowrie shells as a medium. State representative regulate these local markets and exact taxes. Also, by tradition, Ashanti bought and sold slaves. This trade in slaves tended to occur not in the market but through personal transactions. Those enslaved included prisoners of war and criminals, but also those place in servitude as pawns for debt. Pawn work was interest on a loan. When possible the debtors redeemed these pawns and the pawns retained their clan affiliations and their offspring suffered no stigma. Slaves, the Ashanti report, were seldom cruelly used. A person who abuses a slave was held as contemptible. They further demonstrate the humanity of Ashanti slavery ( in relation to that slavery in the Americas) by pointing out that slaves were allowed to marry, though the children belonged to the master, rather than the mother's clan. If found desirable a female slave became a wife; the master preferred such a status to that of a free woman in a usual marriage. This marriage allowed the children to inherit some of the father's property and status. This preferred arrangement with pawn wife occurred because of conflict with the matrilineal system. The Ashanti slave master felt more comfortable with a slave or pawn wife who had no abusua to intercede on her behalf every time the couple argued. With the wife's slave status, the man controlled his children absolutely with the mother isolated from her own kin.In the Ashanti pattern of kinship, those of the same generation are all siblings. A woman refers to them as child, and a man, sister's child. Those of the parent's generation, women are all called mother, and men, mother's brother (The actual father, of course, is not a member of the female line.) In the male line, all male members are called father, and females, female father.People loath being alone for long without someone available to perform this rite before the ill collapse. The family washes the corpse and dress it in its best clothes and adorn it with packets of gold dust (soul money), ornaments, and food for the journey "up the hill." The body is buried within 24 hours. Until that time the funeral party engage in dancing, drumming, shooting of guns, and much drunkenness, all accompanied by the wailing of relatives.The Day of Rising occurs the sixth day after death when the soul is finally dispatched from the vicinity. the blood relatives shave their heads and put the hair into a pot. They sacrifice and cook a sheep. They carry the food, utensils, and the pot of hair to a special place in the cemetery where the ghost of the deceased will find them and take them for his journey. They then resume normal life, except the resume mourning on the eighth, fifteenth, fortieth, and eightieth days, and at one year.Of course, funeral rites for the death of a King involve the whole kingdom and are much more of an elaborate affair. The Ashanti, like other west coast kingdom, are known for human sacrifices at the death of a King. A number of the King's wives are strangled, the aristocratic method of  death, in order to accompany the King into the afterworld, along with representatives of the palace staff. These victims are expected to enjoy this honor and sometimes volunteer. Throughout the districts of the kingdom sacrifices of slaves, criminals, and waylaid strangers occur while the King lies in state.The greatest and most frequent ceremonies of the Ashanti recall the spirits of departed rulers with an offering of food and drink, asking their favor for the good of all the people. Called the Adae, these ceremonies occur every 21 days The day before the Adae, talking drums announce the approaching ceremonies. The stool treasurer gathers sheep and liquor which will be offered. The priest chief officiates the Adae in the stool house where the ancestors come  The priest offers each food and drink. The public ceremony occurs outdoors, where all join the dancing. Minstrels chant tribal traditions; the talking drums extoll the chief and the ancestors in traditional phrases.The Odwera, the other large ceremony, occurs in September and lasts for a week or two. It is a time of cleansing the society of sin and defilement and for the purification of shrines of ancestors and gods. After the sacrifice and feast of a black hen  of which both the living and the dead share, a new year begins in which all are clean, strong, and healthy.The ever-present concern with ancestors is the strongest motif of all ceremonies. But Ashanti religion and cosmology extend beyond the ancestors. The universe is peopled with many kinds of spirits, the greatest of which is the Supreme One, who heads a pantheon of gods and spirits, all are descendants of their Creator. These intermediaries act as patrons of villages, districts, and household. Others are gods of a place, a geographic features, such as the gods of rivers. Many myths describe how the Supreme One and the other gods acquired their characteristics.Each god has a temporary abode on earth. The shrine may be as simple as a stone or a more elaborate image. Trained priests look after these objects and shrines. Their knowledge consists in how to call the god to come and speak, using the priest himself as a medium. there are minor spirits who abide in beads and other small objects which are carried by ordinary people as charms and fetishes. The Ashanti believe all animals and plants have souls to which appeals can be made. Some spirits, of course, are hostile and are found in the forests and from them black magic and witchcraft may be learned. In any event, all are related and descend from the Supreme One.Among the Ashanti, Christianity and Islam have modified some of these traditional practices. The ancestors, as well as matrilineal descent, bride price, and the concept of the descent of the spirit from the Supreme One through males, however, continue as an important aspects of identity and group relations.To the Ashanti, the family and the mother's clan are most important. A child is said to inherit the father's soul or spirit and from the mother a child receives flesh and blood This relates them more closely to the mother's clan. The Ashanti live in an extended family. The family lives in various homes or huts that are set up around a courtyard. The head of the household is usually the oldest brother that lives there. The elders choose him. He is called either Father or House father and is obeyed by everyone.The Ashanti religion is a mixture of spiritual and supernatural powers. They believe that plants, animals, and trees have souls. They also believe in fairies, witches, and forest monsters. There are a variety of religious beliefs involving ancestors, higher gods, or abosom, and 'Nyame', the Supreme Being of Ashanti. The Ashanti also practice many ceremonies for marriage, death, puberty, and birth.Today, the Ashanti Kingdom, with its traditional headquarters in Kumasi, has undergone a lot of transformations over the years. They are mostly Christians and a Moslem community made up of the Ashanti and other Akan Clans known as Kramo. The Kingdom has produced many Ghanain leaders among them is the immediate past president of Ghana.

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