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Facts on Asante History

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Did you know that....
That the Oyoko Baapiesie Nana Ekuru claimed to have migrated from Asuom and first settled at Asiakwa both in the Eastern Region, and it was her daughter Nana Antwiwaa Nyame who then later led her descendants to Asantemanso in Asumegya?

That Nana Awurade Basa, an Adanse Chief was the first to appoint a linguist and gave him a stool to occupy?

That it is only the Omanhene of Edweso who does not make an appointment with Asantehene through a linguist but rather through the Nsumakwaahene? It is part of the privileges Nana Diko Pim l was made to enjoy after his sacrifice during the Denkyira War.

That it was Nana Opoku Ware l who created the Ananta Stool as his personal battalion under his command to protect the Asantehenes against possible coup by the commander of the main Asante Army? Ananta was the name of a sophisticated weapon used by the soldiers of that battalion.

That when the Denkyiras were ruling over Kumase and its allies the King of Denkyira Nana Boa Amponsem requested a royal of Kumase to come and serve at his court, it was Nana Osei Tutu, then a young man, who was sent? According to oral tradition, Nana Osei Tutu impregnated Ako Abenaa Bansua, the sister of Nana Boa Amponsem. According to some historians, Ako Abenaa Bansua's son from Nana Osei Tutu was Ntim Gyakari who later became the king of Denkyira.

That when Nana Osei Tutu was returning from Akwamu to become the king of Kumase, Akwamuhene Nana Ansah Sasraku gave him 300 men of Akwamu to guard him and accompany him to Kumase. These men were all given to Asafohene and they became citizens of Asafo and subsequently the Asafohene'ss title became Akwamuhene?

That when a new Asantehene is being installed on the Golden Stool the ceremony performed midnight is done by the following Ahenfo: Mamponghene, he holds the Asantehene's right hand, Asumegyahene, he holds his left hand, the Akyempemhene holds his waist and places him on the Golden Stool; Kokofuhene or Nsutahene holds a gun and stands behind the new Asantehene during this ceremony?

That the name Kokofu originated from "koo-ko afuom" meaning soft cocoyam farm?

That the first settlement of the people of Dwaben after migrating from Asantemanso and Kwaaman was Otikurom or Tikurom?

That it was Dwabenhene Nana Akwasi Boateng and Kontanasehene Nana Antwi Panin who fought to recapture the Golden Stool when it was captured for the first time by the enemies at the battle of Akatamanso? In their effort to recapture the Golden Stool, Nana Antwi Panin, the Kontanasehene, received thirty nine bullet wounds but he survived the ordeal and so that earned him and his subsequent successors the title "Ogyeaboo", one who receives bullets.

That city of New Dwaben or Koforidua (Kofi Ofiri Dua) was created by the people of Asante Dwaben because of the following circumstances?
a. On their return from the Akatamanso War Dwabenhene Nana Kwasi Boateng was accused of keeping a large sum of gold dust that the enemies had captured with the stool. After Nana Kwasi Boateng had denied knowledge of the gold dust, the Asantehene Nana Osei Yaw Akoto became suspicious about the integrity of the Dwabenhene and could not trust him any longer.
b. The second incident was that a native of Kubease called Asumin mistakenly saw one of Nana Kwasi Boateng's wives naked whilst taken her bath. The Dwabenhene asked for Asumin but he bolted away to seek refuge in Kumase. After making several requests for Asumin, the Dwabenhene was made to promise that he would not kill the culprit and so the Asantehene Nana Osei Yaw Akoto handed Asumin over to him but Nana Kwasi Boateng did not keep his promise and killed Asumin. The Asantehene was furious and so he subsequently waged war at Dwaben. Dwaben lost the war and so the entire population left and bought a piece of land from Okyehene Ofori Panin in the Akyem area and named it Kofi Ofori Dua or New Dwaben.

That during the reign of Asantehene Nana Osei Kwame Asibe Bonsu (1800-1824) the Asante Kingdom covered an area bigger than the present day Ghana?

That Asante was not created as a matter of tribe but rather as a matter of necessity, to form a formidable force to fight Denkyira, hence "Osa-nti" meaning because of War. The original word was Osa-Nti-fo.

That Asantes bestowed one of the highest accolades on two tribes who in their various ways had assisted them during different wars? That is the reason why apart from Asante Kotoko, there is Anwaa Kotoko for the Dagombas and Nzema Kotoko for the people of Nzema. Since then there is a cordial relationship between the Asantes and those two tribes.

That the town of Nsuta was founded by the hunter Akwante Bofuo who originated from Aduman? He found a piece of land which belonged to Asonaba Bampa Adu of Beposo and negotiated on behalf of his master Tabri Heman for purchase. The land was between two rivers that looked like twins hence Nsuo Ntaa and that came to be Nsuta.

That the chief of Akyem Asiakwa is the ancestral brother of Asantehene? This explains why one Nana Tanno who was the Asiakwahene and Nifahene of Akyem Abuakwa refused to mount any force against an Asante force that was on the verge of attacking the Okyehene, Nana Atta Wusu Yiakosa.

The difference between Abusua and Nton, and that every Asante belongs to the Abusua of his/her mother but has the Nton of the father? Abusua is derived from blood and nton is from the spirit or soul.
Here are the various Asante Abusua: Oyoko, Asona, Bretuo, Agona, Asenie, Ekoona, Aduana and Asakyiri.
Here are some of the various Nton: Bosommuru, Bosompra. Bosomtwe, Bosomnkatia, Bosomakom, Bosomafi and Bosomayesu.
It is the nton that determines what kind of food one should never eat, the so called Akyiwadee.

That traditionally the Asantehene is the nephew of Juasohene, Dwabenhene and Kontanasehene?

That the people of Dormaa were settling at Suntreso in Kumase after migrating from Akwamu via Asumegya, and they were driven from there to their present settlement by Nana Osei Tutu with the help of Papamsohene Nana Baa Siakwan? The Dormaas had caused the death of Nana Obiri Yeboa and so one of the main task of the new King of Asante was to avenge the death of his uncle.

That the real name of Anokye Komfoo was Kwame Agyei Frimpong?

How the lake Bosomtwe came by the name?
A hunter called Bompe of Asaman shot an antelope which did not die but vanished into the small lake. The hunter thought the lake was a god and the antelope belongs to it, hence "Obosom no Twee" this later became Bosomtwe. The lake is own by Kokofu-Asamanhene.

That the creation and subsequent consecration of the golden stool took place at a place called Pimpimso at a spot within the premises of the present Uadarra Army Barracks at Bantama?
And it was also on that day that the name Bantama came to be? It happened that Akwasi Baa, son of Nana Adu Gyamfi of Wonoo, who belonged to the Twafoo group of the area was weeding the path that led to Pimpimso and in the process lost his cloth in a stream. After searching for it for a while he could not trace it and so people started calling Pimpimso and the surrounding area Baa-Ntoma and this later became Bantama.

That before Nana Obiri Yeboa became the Kumasehene he was a worthy trader living at Damanten in Akyem Kotoku? He even got married to the sister of the Damantehene Nana Nkatia Brempong,called Nana Nyarko. Nana Nkatia Brempong joined Nana Obiri Yeboah and wife to live in Kumase and he helped his brother-in-Law to rule Kumase.

That during the era of Nana Osei Tutu l, a parade ground to train Asante soldiers was built at the present Practice School's site, near Wesley College, in Kumasi?

The circumstance that led to the creation of the Ankobea Stool? In 1730 whilst Nana Opoku Ware l was in Akyem with his fighting forces, Nana Abirimoro of Sehwi marched unimpeded to Kumasi, ransacked and rifled the palace and even demolished some sacred places within the palace. Nana Abirimoro was of course punished instantly by the returning Asante soldiers. But the Asantes learnt a lesson out of that and Nana Opoku Ware l subsequently created the Ankobea division, comprising of soldiers who always stayed at home at war times to guard the King's treasury and take care of Kumase for that matter. The word Ankobea means doesn't go anywhere, wonko bea!

The origin and meaning of Kotoko? The Asante soldiers used an art of lying down on the ground to fight their enemies. This made it very tough for their enemies to get them on target. This gave Asantes the name Koto-ko meaning bend low and fight.

The origin of the river subin? When the people of Tafo were living at a place around the present building of SAT, they found out that that small stream was very close to them and so they started saying, "the river is very close", "nsuo yi ben". This later became Subin.

That after Nana Obiri Yeboa was killed in a war against Dormaa, the people of Kumase chose Nana Amoa Gyaame of Kokofu to be the next Kumasehene but he declined? Nana Kwaku Dua of Kenyaase was then asked to take over but he dictated so many conditions for the kingmakers that they were compelled to leave him alone. It was after all that one Nana Sarkodie of Wonoo suggested Nana Osei Tutu and preparations were made for him to take over the stool of Kumase.

The meaning of Okyeame? Any linguist is a very intelligent and eloquent person. He has the ability to polish whatever is said to Ohene or from Ohene to his people. He can shape or change a speech in a more refined way. The original word is Okyea- Amene. Kyea means bend and Amene means brain. The word okyeame means somebody who has the ability to bend the brain. The writer will like to recall that the popular Akan proverb that involves an Okyeame can only be, Okyeame a onni asem no ho bi ka no, ose, Nana w'asom a...
And definitely not "Okyeame a onnim asem ka no..." because every liquist knows how to express himself

That when the Golden Stool was hidden from the British at Abuabugya, Nseniehene Nana Bunor pupolarly known as Seniagya, Asubonten, Danso chief of Abuabugya, Kwadwo Poku, Yankyera and Kwame Yoguo stole it and removed some of the ornaments that adorned with it. It was finally hidden at Wawaase until Nana Prempeh l returned from Seychelles Island.

That Nana Yaa Asantewaa died at 3.30 pm on October 17, 1921 as a result of a chronic toothache?

That it was as a result of the courageous deed of Nana Kwabena Tweneboa Kodua that earned all subsequent chiefs of Kumawu the title "Barima". Nana Tweneboa Kodua led the marching soldiers and although he was armed it was forbidden for him to fire even a single gunshot and so he was eventually killed,and after winning the Denkyera War, Nana Osei Tutu promised the people of Kumawu that never will a citizen of Kumawu be offered as a sacrifice again. This is the reason why the citizens were given some light tribal marks shortly after birth. Did you know that it was not only Nana Tweneboa Kodua who was offered as a sacrifice in order to win the Asante-Denkyera War? The rest of them were: Asonaba Nana Diko Pim l Chief of Edweso,who was butchered and his flesh was thrown away so that vultures will carry to Denkyera land and it was said that wherever any piece of flesh will fall the men of the place will lose their bravery and become cowards, the next sacrifice was made by Oyokoba Nana Okomfo Asenso, chief of Adwumakaasekese who was buried alive, since then his predecessors have become the custodians of the Busummuru Afena, they always bring this State Sword so that the Asantehene-elect will use it to swear the aoth of allegiance to the Asanteman. The last sacrifice was made by Bretuoba Nana Boahen Anantuo, chief of Mampong, he offered to lead the Asantes as Army General although the great priest had prophesied that the person who will lead the army will not live longer than seven days after the war. Nana Boahene requested the permission of allowing his predecessors to occupy the Silver Stool which will be next to the Golden Stool and the permission was granted. Nana Boahene died three days after the Asantes have won the war.

That anytime an Asantehene passes away it is the Mamponghene who acts as Asantehene and he is then referred to as the Awisiahene? The title Awisiahene came about when during an Asante Akyem War the Asantehene, Nana Osei Tutu I , who was
the Army General died, it was Mamponghene Nana Akuamoa Panin who took over the command of the Army and at the same time took over the responsibility as the father of the Asantes whose founder and father had died. Hence the word Awisiahene which means King of the Orphans.

How the Asante saying "Etuo ato wo Bare" which means, there are some gunshots at Bare, came to be? The Golden Stool was hidden at Barekese a village near Kumase, on April 2nd 1900, the British tried to capture it after they had been given information on the whereabouts by Kwame Tua. Captain Armitage sent some soldiers to get the Golden Stool and the Asantes at Barekese fired gunshot and killed them. The Asante s started saying there has been a gunshot at Bare. This is how the saying came to be.

That according to oral tradition Nana Osei Tutu l died during an Asante-Akyem War and his body was taken away by the Pra river and as a result of that all subsequent Asantehenes are not suppose to cross the river without preparing a special traditional rites for that?

That the Asantehene Nana Osei Tutu Kwame Asibey won the name Bonsu after defeating the Fantes? After this war he just jumped and swam in the sea. And it was said that he had even won power over the whale in the sea. The whale is called “Bonsu” in Twi.

How the great oath of Asantes, Ntam Kesie Mmiensa came to be? Nana Osei Tutu l had two sisters called Nana Bona Fie and Nana Kyirem, unfortunately none of them gave birth to a son. Nana Bona Fie had a daughter called Nana Nyarko Kusi, who later on became the Asantehemaa. Nana Kyirem also gave birth to a daughter with the name Nana Nkatia Abamo, who also later became Asantehemaa. Nana Nyarko Kusi who was a niece to Nana Osei Tutu l, was given to Nana Adu Mensah, the chief of Amakom, to marry. Nana Nyarko got pregnant but barely three months afterwards Nana Adu Panin, the father of the child died. His younger brother called Nana Adu Kumaa succeeded his brother and inherited all his properties including his pregnant wife Nana Nyarko Kusi Amoa. Shortly afterwards he also died leaving his wife still pregnant. He was also succeeded by his younger brother also called Adu and he too took Nana Nyarko Kusi Amoa as wife. Shortly after the birth of the child Opoku Tenten the father Adu lll also died. According to oral tradition, Nana Opoku Ware was taller than every member of the Asante nation at that time, and that gave him the name Oware meaning he is tall. When Nana Opoku Ware eventually became the Asantehene, he established the Ntam Kesie Mmiensa , the great oath of three, in memory of his three fathers.

The meaning of Adanse? The people of Adanse were the first people among the Akans to build houses. The original word was "Adansifoo" which means house builders.
That Nana Kofi Kaakari was the only Asantehene who was once deposed and again chose to become Asantehene? Nana Kofi Kaakari had previously been deposed as a result of his compassion for the poor. He could not stand the sight of poor people and could not understand why people should live in poverty whereas the Asante treasury was full of money. He therefore often gave out money to poor people to work with. The elders of the Golden Stool did not like the idea because they contended that if his predecessors had mismanaged the treasury as he was doing, he would not have met a dime in it. After the tragic death of Nana Kwaku Dua ll, just after 40 days on the Stool, the people chose Nana Kofi Kaakari to be enstooled again but he died of dysentery before he could swear the oath of allegiance to the Golden Stool and Asanteman.

That Otumfuo Osei Agyeman Prempeh ll was originally only enstooled as Kumasehene? After the Yaa Asantewaa war of 1900, the British declared the Gold Coast as a crowned Colony and intentionally dissolved the Asante Empire. This paved the way for a lot of States within the empire to declare their independence. Through the efforts of Nana Osei Agyeman Prempeh ll and the Asante Kotoko Society, the British once again restored the Asante Confederacy with the Kumasehene as Asantehene. On the 1st February 1935 and the subsequent days, some eighty-four chiefs took the oath of allegiance to the Asantehene Nana Osei Agyeman Prempeh ll. The most important ones among them were the following:
Nana Kwaku Dua - Mamponhene
Nana Yaw Sarpong – Dwabenhene
Nana Kwame Poku – Bekwaehene
Nana Kofi Adu – Kokofuhene
Nana Kwabena Kaakari – Asumegyahene
Nana Kwame Afram – Kumawuhene
Nana Kwabena Wusu – Edwesohene
Nana Kwadwo Appau – Agonahene
Nana Kyei Mensa – Agogohene
Nana Yaw Gyima – Asokorehene
Nana Kofi Wiafe – Nkoranzahene
Nana Kwasi Aduomin – Denyaasehene
Nana Fosu Gyeabour ll – Takyimanhene
Nana Kwasi Boakye – Wankyihene
Nana Kwame Agyeman – Moohene
Nana Kwabena Awuah lV – Bantomahene

Nana Kwabena Bour – Bannahene
Nana Gyeabour Afari ll – Dormaahene
Nana Kwadwo Wusu – Tepahene
Nana Kwabena Boateng – Berekumhene
Nana Kwaaten – Bankahene
Nana Kwaaku Adaaku – Hwidiemhene
Nana Kwaku Dua – Akyenpemhene
And to commemorate the restoration of the second confederacy, Nana Osei Agyeman Prempeh ll created the Nkabomhene’s stool.

To be continued………………

Okatakyie Akwasi Amankwaa Afrifa - an Asante Warrior To be Continued......!!!

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