HOW MUCH DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THE GOLDEN STOOL OF THE ASHANTI KINGDOM ?

The Golden Stool (full title, Sika Dwa Kofi) has been the symbol of power in Ashanti Kingdom since the 17th century. According to oral tradition, Okomfo Anokye, a High Priest and one of the two founders of the Ashanti Confederacy, conjured the Golden Stool, decorated with golden bells and fetters, and caused it to descend from the sky where it landed at the feet of Osei Tutu I, the first Asantehene (King) of Ashanti.  Beginning with Osei Tutu I, the Ashanti have believed that the Golden Stool houses the soul of the Ashanti nation.

The Stool, made of gold, stands 18 inches high, 24 inches long, and 12 inches wide. It was never allowed to touch the ground and was considered so sacred that no one was allowed to sit on it. Each new Ashante king is lowered and raised over the Golden Stool without touching it.  No one could be considered a legitimate ruler without the Golden Stool, which usually occupied its own throne next to the Asantehene.

The Ashanti maintained the Golden Stool as their most prized possession. Before they went to war, their war chiefs consulted it. As time progressed and as the Ashanti scored more victories over their rivals, turning their kingdom into an empire, the Golden Stool became even more revered.

By the 19th Century, the Ashanti began a series of clashes with the British Empire which had established effective control of the coastal region of what is now Ghana. They fought three Anglo-Ashanti Wars between 1824 and 1874, with the British and their African allies gaining more control over Ashanti Territory.  During the fourth Anglo-Ashanti War, the British and their Indian and African allies defeated Asantehene Agyeman Prempeh, eventually capturing him and sending him into exile in the SeychellesIslands.

The final war (1900), essentially a rebellion led by Yaa Asantewaa, the Queen Mother and Gate Keeper of the Golden Stool, was prompted by the demand by Sir Frederick Mitchell Hodgson, the British Governor of the Gold Coast to sit on the Golden Stool. With his remark, Yaa Asantewaa led a rebellion called the Word of the Golden Stool which began on March 28, 1900.  The intense fighting led to the death of more than 2,000 Ashanti and 1,000 British and Allied troops.  Both totals were higher than the deaths from all previous Anglo-Ashanti wars combined. The war ended, however, after six months.

Yaa Asantewaa was captured by the British in 1901 and quickly exiled to the Seychelles, where she died in 1921, but the British  never captured the Golden Stool.  Hidden by the Ashanti, it was discovered by a group of African railroad builders in 1920.  They stripped it of its gold ornaments and were tried by the Ashanti and sentenced to death.  British colonial authorities intervened, however, and they were exiled from the Gold Coast Colony.

After ealizing the importance of the Golden Stool to the Ashanti, the British gave assurances that they would never interfere with it again.  Restored to its ceremonial place, the Golden Stool continues to be used in rituals crowning the Asantehene, although he is now considered a traditional ruler without political power or influence.  Nonetheless, the Golden Stool remains a cherished symbol of the former Ashanti Empire.

SOURCE – BLACKPAST.ORG

GGG

About Tony Tokunbo Eteka Fernandez

Tony Tokunbo Eteka Fernandez is an International Award Winner, Published Author & Poet, Broadcast Journalist, MC and Youth Empowerment Consultant . He is also The CEO of AFRICA4U and The Founder of Africans in The Diaspora People also see him as a Cultural and Social entrepreneur, which means he is skilled in working with many different communities, bringing people together in successful focused events. Tony has organised many cultural events …involving both BME and mainstream communities. He is skilled in hosting events that reinforce community cohesion and bringing different kinds of people together. He has organised events in The UK, The U.S.A, Holland, Germany, Romania, Malta and Nigeria and has visited over 22 European Countries. Tony has also organised The Black History Month Celebrations at The UK House of Parliament for over five years in a row He continues to promote the true life and success stories of Africans in Europe and Africans around the world and has organised several small scale literary and awards initiatives aimed at empowering young people. He has also spent time as an International broadcaster and was The Producer and Presenter for AFRICA4U International Radio Talk Show at Reading4u Radio Station for nearly three years. Tony has interviewed high profile Members of Parliament, Distinguished celebrities and some of Africas best musicians including Ivonne Chaka Chaka and Kanda Bongoman. He has also been a guest on BBC Radio on numerous occasions to discuss the community cohesion events he organises at UK House of Parliament and also to recite some of his published work in memory of Nelson Mandela, 50 Years Anniversary of The race relations act and major community issues. Tony has also a Guest on popular Radio stations in Nigeria and The States In the last few years he has been very passionate about Youth empowerment, community cohesion and cultural intelligence. Tony was born in South London and has lived in several parts of England and Nigeria . He started writing at the tender age of nine, a habit he expressed with creative enthusiasm. Tony writes Poetry, short stories and proverbs on personal development. He is currently working on his 4th book which will also be his first novel. He is also into Public Speaking at Special events and Social functions and is a Mentor for young people in the UK Community. He completed a Bachelor of Arts degree at The University of Lagos, Nigeria in English and World Literature. He later went on to attain a teaching qualification at The Frances King International Training Institute, South Kensington London, it was here he studied Teaching English as a Foreign Language. He also studied Web Design at The City University in London. He published his first book in June 1999 called “The Beauty in the Dark” (A Collection of Poetry which received critical acclamation in many circles around the world). .Tony’s aim in life is to inspire the young generation and to encourage the youth to make the very best of their dreams and aspirations,. He published a 2nd book in June 2009 called ” The Sound of Running Water” – A Family gift book of proverbs and quotations on Personal Development and Positive Thinking . In December 2009, he published his 3rd book called “One Moment of Peace”.- A collection of Poetry inspired by personal experiences and spiritual growth. Besides the fact that the Artist has won International online awards, he is mostly inspired by Life experience, love, music and cultural awareness. He was Resident Poet at the 5th London Poetry Festival in 2009 and has been a guest on BBC Radio on very many occassions including The famous Anne Diamond Show. He has also been a guest on a few SKY TV stations and several International Radio Stations around The World
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