Ashanti Kingdom (17th - 19th century)

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We Dominated West Africa

Friends

Songhay Empire
Hausa
Ghana Kingdom
Portuguese

Technology

Asante are best known for their royal arts, which include staff and umbrella finials, lost wax cast gold jewelry, and brass gold weights. Kente cloth is a high-prestige textile that was originally woven from imported silk and now is woven of rayon and other synthetics. Kente cloth has been worn in Ghana by rulers.The deceased are honored by fired-clay memorial heads.

Culture

Asante is rich in gold. Traders came from Songhay empire, Hausa cities of northern Nigeria, and Europe just for the gold. Akan used the gold to purchase slaves from both African and European traders for slave labor. Slave labor allowed the Akan to expand gold production by developing deep-level mining and panning alluvial soils. Slave labor also helped in clearing the dense forest of southern Ghana for farming. This shifted economy from hunting and gathering to agricultural. The crops include – plantains, yams, and rice, and adopted from America; corn and cassava

Religion

"The spiritual center of the Asante alliance is the mystical Golden Stool. It is believed to have descended out of the skies in the late 17th century as a result of the prayers of Okomfo Anokye, chief priest of the King of Asante, Nana Osei Tutu. The stool was presented to the people after the defeat of the Denkyira, and Anokye declared that it contained the spirit of the whole of the Asante nation and that all of the strength of the nation depended on the safety of the stool. Essentially, the stool embodies the political unity of the Akan states and the power of the chiefs of Asante. Another essential part of Asante religion is the honoring of departed kings who are represented by stools which have been blackened during a sacrificial ceremony. Although the golden stool is clearly a more visible representation of the spiritual link to the King, it is the blackened stool that truly honors the strength and continuity of the throne."

Blog

Blog Entry 1:

The plan was ingenious. We used our gold to buy slaves in order to dig up more golds. Not only that, the slaves helped clear down the dense forest in this region. Now,we don't have to depend on hunting and foraging. We can finally start planting. With this agriculture, our population will definitely increase. Along with the gold, we will become wealthy.

Blog Entry 2:

The Ade Kesi festival is coming up. It is the celebration froma magnefied form of Sunday Adae festivals. It celebrated every six weeks in accordance with the Akan calender. The calender is based on a cycle of forty-two days and nine months in a year. Its purpose is to allow pledging of allegiance to the kingdom and to the occupant of the Golden Stool.

Blog Entry 3:

Our supply of gold has really attracted the Europeans. The slave trade is highly profitable. With the use of gold we are able to entice the traders for more slaves.

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Ashante Kingdom. March 07, 1999 Art & Life in Africa. <http://www.uiowa.edu/~africart/toc/history/giblinstate.html>.