THE ASANTE TRIBE OF GHANA

THE ASANTE TRIBE

The Asante, also known as the Ashanti (/nti/ (listen)), are an ethnic group of Akan people who originated in the Ashanti Region of present-day Ghana. The last tribe to emerge from the many Akan civilizations was the Asantes. More than nine million Asante people speak Twi as a first or second language .Along the shores of Lake Volta and the Gulf of Guinea, the  prosperous, gold-rich Asante people established the vast and powerful Ashanti Empire. The empire was established in 1670, and Asantehene (emperor) Osei Kofi Tutu I, on the recommendation of Okomfo Anokye, his premier, founded Kumase, the nation’s capital, in 1680. Its advantageous location at the Trans-Saharan trade crossroads considerably contributed to its increasing prosperity.

The Kumase metropolis has evolved into a financial hub and a political center during the course of its history due to a number of odd circumstances coming together. The unwavering fealty to the Asante kings and the expanding riches of the Kumase metropolis, which was partly derived from the profitable domestic trade in commodities like gold, slaves, and bullion, were the key contributing reasons.

Nomenclature

Asantefo is used in the Asante dialect of Twi; the singular forms are Asantenibaa and Asantenibarima, respectively. According to conventional wisdom, the term “warlike” Asante was coined in the 1670s, when the Asante transitioned from a tributary state to a centralized hierarchical kingdom. The Asante Empire was established by the military tsar and head of the Asante Oyoko clan, Asantehene Osei Tutu I.  Osei Tutu I won the backing of other clan leaders and, using Kumase as his headquarters, he pacified neighboring Akan territories. According to the claimed modern derivation of the name, Osei Tutu battled and ultimately bested Denkyira in.

Geography

The Asante Region has a diverse topography, including coasts and mountains, a wildlife sanctuary, strict nature reserves, and national parks, as well as forests, grasslands, lush agricultural areas, and close-by savannas. It is also rich in vast deposits of industrial minerals, most notably vast deposits of gold. A volcanic crater lake called Lake Bosumtwi is located in the area where the Asante people first arrived, and Asante is bordered to the west by Lake Volta in the central region of modern-day Ghana. The Asante (Kingdom of Asante) region is mountainous to some extent, heavily forested, and rich. There are two seasons: the dry season and the rainy season (April to November) (December to March). Although there are numerous streams on the terrain, the dry season is very dry. All year round, Asante area is warm. Nearly 3 million Asante people still live there now. The dominant tongue, Asante Twi, belongs to the Kwa languages’ Central Tano family.  Asante political power is comprised of Asantehene Otumfuo Nana Osei Tutu II, who is the absolute ruler and political head of the Asantes and the Asante Region,[12][13] as well as the Asante New Patriotic Party, a semi-one-party state representative,[14]. Since the Asante Region (and the Kingdom of Asante) have a state political union with Ghana,[15], the Asante have continued to hold significant Ghana’s Asante and Brong Ahafo regions are home to Asantes. The Asante Kingdom’s medieval capital was Kumase metropolis, the nation’s capital for Asante (Kingdom of Asante). There are currently 11 million people living in the Asante Region.

The Asante Region continues to significantly impact Ghana’s economy today as it has in the past.  Asante is well-endowed with industrial minerals and agricultural equipment. Asante is also where Ghana produces the majority of its domestic food and generates the majority of the country’s foreign exchange from exports of cocoa, agricultural equipment, gold, bauxite, manganese, and other industrial minerals as well as timber. 96 percent of Ghana’s exports are produced in the Kumase city and the Asante area.

HISTORY

Asante Empire

In the 1670s the Ashantee went from being a tributary state to the centralized hierarchical Denkyira kingdom. Asantehene Osei Kofi Tutu I, military leader and head of the Oyoko clan, founded the Asante kingdom. Osei Tutu obtained the support of other clan chiefs and using Kumase as the central base, subdued surrounding states. Osei Tutu challenged and eventually defeated Denkyira in 1701 and presumptuously from this, the name Asante came to be. Realizing the weakness of a loose confederation of Akan states, Osei Tutu strengthened centralization of the surrounding Akan groups and expanded the powers judiciary system within the centralized government. Thus, this loose confederation of small city-states grew into a kingdom or empire looking to expand its land. Newly conquered areas had the option of joining the empire or becoming tributary states. Opoku Ware I, Osei Tutu’s successor, extended the borders.

Customs

Asante are a matrilineal society where line of descent is traced through the female.. Historically, this mother progeny relationship determined land rights, inheritance of property, offices and titles. It is also true that the Asante inherit property from the paternal side of the family. Though not considered as important as the mother, the male interaction continues in the place of birth after marriage. Historically, an Asante girl was betrothed with a golden ring called “petia” (I love you), if not in childhood, immediately after the puberty ceremony. They did not regard marriage “awade” as an important ritual event, but as a state that follows soon and normally after the puberty ritual. The puberty rite was and is important as it signifies passage from childhood to adulthood in that chastity is encouraged before marriage. The Asante required that various goods be given by the boy’s family to that of the girl, not as a ‘bride price’, but to signify an agreement between the two families

Language

Asante Twi is the primary language used in Asante and by the Asante people. It is also the official language of the Asante Region. Over 9 million Asante people of ethnicity speak Asante as a first or second language. At the basic and elementary educational stage (Primary 1-3) K–12 (education) level, as well as during university studies leading to a bachelor’s or master’s degree in Asante, the Asante language is the official language used for literacy in Asante. Tone, vowel harmony, and nasalization are some of the distinctive linguistic traits of the Asante language and Asante Twi.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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