BBC – Kingdoms of Africa – Ashante (Asante)

African History Month – February

BBC –  Kingdoms of Africa – Ashante (Asante)

The Asante Empire  [from Wikipedia]

The Ashanti (or AsanteEmpire (or Confederacy), also Asanteman (1701–1896) was a West Africa state of the Ashanti, the Akan people of the Ashanti Region, Ghana. The Ashanti (or Asante) are a sub-group of the Akans, a powerful, militaristic and highly disciplined people of West Africa inhabiting an area known as ‘Akanland’. Their military power, which came from effective strategy and an early adoption of European Firearms, created an empire that stretched from central Ghana to present day Benin and Ivory Coast, bordered by the Dagomba kingdom to the north and Dahomey to the east.  

Due to the empire’s military prowess, sophisticated hierarchy, social stratification and culture, the Ashanti empire had one of the largest historiographies of any indigenous Sub-Saharan African political entity.

Today the Ashanti monarchy continues as a constitutionally protected, sub-national traditional state in Ghana. The current chief is Otumfuo Osei Tutu II Asantehene.

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Comments

  • Rosaliene Bacchus  On 02/18/2013 at 1:44 am

    Another interesting and fascinating documentary of The Lost Kingdoms of Africa. I found much food for thought in Ashanti’s history: the power of symbols in holding a people together and preserving their history; the importance of trade dominance.

    As a former international trade professional, I follow with interest new developments in transnational trade treaties.

    With regards to the symbolic power of the golden stool, I ask myself what symbols hold Guyana together as a transnational people.

  • Hubert Hintzen  On 03/18/2013 at 1:43 am

    @Rosaliene B, you do know that the great majority of Afro-Guyanese are descendants of people from the then Gold Coast, now primarily Ghana. I have been promising myself to have a DNA test done to do some self tracing.

    • Rosaliene Bacchus  On 03/18/2013 at 4:27 pm

      Hubert, I know that Afro-Guyanese, including my maternal grandfather, came from West Africa but I never thought of myself or my fellow Afro-Guyanese as being descendants of the great Kingdom of the Ashantis. I am disconnected from my roots.

      Perhaps my strong sense of symbolism is part of my Ashanti heritage.

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