Ashanti, also known as Asante, are part of the Akan ethnic group and are native to the Ashanti Region of modern-day Ghana. Twi is spoken by over nine million Asante people as a first or second language.
The wealthy, gold-rich Asante people developed the large and influential Ashanti Empire, along the Lake Volta and Gulf of Guinea. The empire was founded in 1670, and the Asante capital Kumasi was founded in 1680 by Asantehene (emperor) Osei Kofi Tutu 1 on the advice of Ɔkͻmfoͻ Anͻkye, his premier. Sited at the crossroads of the Trans-Saharan trade, the Kumasi megacity's strategic location contributed significantly to its growing wealth. Throughout the Kumasi metropolis' existence, several peculiar factors have combined to transform the Kumasi metropolis into a financial center and political capital. The main causal factors included the unquestioning loyalty to the Asante rulers and the Kumasi metropolis' growing wealth, derived in part from the capital's lucrative domestic-trade in items such as gold, slaves, and bullion.
In the Asante dialect of Twi, Asantefo; singular masculine: Asantenibarima, singular feminine: Asantenibaa. The name Asante "warlike" is traditionally asserted by scholars to derive from the 1670s as the Asante went from being a tributary state to a centralized hierarchical kingdom. Asantehene Osei Tutu I, military leader and head of the Asante adwinehene clan, founded the Asante Empire. Osei Tutu I obtained the support of other clan chiefs and, using Kumasi as the central base, subdued surrounding Akan states. Osei Tutu challenged and eventually defeated Denkyira in 1701, and this is the asserted modern origin of the name.
Taking their geography into consideration, the Ashanti Region has a variable terrain, coasts and mountains, wildlife sanctuary and strict nature reserve and national parks, forests and grasslands, lush agricultural areas, and near savannas, enriched with vast deposits of industrial minerals, most notably vast deposits of gold.
Today Ashanti people number close to 3 million. Asante Twi, the majority language, is a member of the Central Tano languages within the Kwa languages. Ashanti political power combines Asantehene Otumfuo Nana Osei Tutu II as the absolute ruler and political head of the Ashantis and the Ashanti Region, with Ashanti semi-one-party state representative New Patriotic Party, and since the Ashanti Region (and the Kingdom of Ashanti) state political union with Ghana, the Ashanti remain largely influential in many things that happen in Ghana.
Today, as in the past, the Ashanti Region continues to make significant contributions to Ghana's economy. Ashanti is richly endowed with industrial minerals and agricultural implements, Ashanti is responsible for much of Ghana's domestic food production and for the foreign exchange Ghana earns from cocoa, agricultural implements, gold, bauxite, manganese, various other industrial minerals, and timber. Kumasi metropolis and the Ashanti region produce 96% of Ghana's exports.
Looking at their history, 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 Ashanti kingdom. Osei Tutu obtained the support of other clan chiefs and using Kumasi 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 the centralization of the surrounding Akan groups and expanded the powers judiciary system within the centralized government. Therefore, 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.
The Ashanti is a sovereign and independent state which strongly resisted attempts by Europeans, mainly the Kingdom of Great Britain, to conquer them. The Ashanti limited British influence in the Ashanti Region, as Britain annexed neighboring areas. The Ashanti were described as a fierce organized people whose king "can bring 200,000 men into the field and whose warriors are not cowed by Sniper rifles and 7-pounder guns".
Ashanti was one of the few African states that seriously resisted European colonizers. Between 1823 and 1896, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland fought four wars against the Ashanti kings: the Anglo-Ashanti Wars. In 1901, the British finally defeated the kingdom following the 1900 War of the Golden Stool and Ashanti Confederacy was made a British protectorate, the Ashanti Protectorate, in 1902, and the office of Asantehene was discontinued the Ashanti capital Kumasi annexed into the British empire; however, the Ashanti still largely governed themselves. Ashanti gave little to no deference to colonial authorities. In 1926, the British permitted the repatriation of Asantehene Prempeh I – whom they had exiled to Seychelles in 1896 – and allowed him to adopt the title Kumasehene, but not Asantehene. However, in 1935, the British finally granted the Ashanti self-rule sovereignty as the Kingdom of Ashanti, and the Ashanti King title of Asantehene was revived.
Historically, an Ashanti 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 the passage from childhood to adulthood in that chastity is encouraged before marriage. The Ashanti 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.
Ashanti Twi greeting phrases; "akwaba" (welcome) and "ɛte sɛn" (how are you).
The Ashanti people speak Ashanti Twi, which is the official language of the Ashanti Region and the main language spoken in Ashanti and by the Ashanti people. Ashanti language is spoken by over 9 million ethnic Ashanti people as a first or second language. The Ashanti language is the official language utilized for literacy in Ashanti, at the primary and elementary educational stage (Primary 1–3) K–12 (education) level, and studied at university as a bachelor's degree or master's degree program in Ashanti.
The Ashanti follow the Akan religion and the Ashanti religion (a traditional religion which seems to be dying slowly but is revived only on major special occasions - yet is undergoing a global revival across the diaspora), followed by Christianity (Roman Catholicism, Anglicanism, and Protestantism) and Islam.
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