History of the Ashanti Kingdom

Asante Kings (Asantehene) Nana Osei Tutu (1680 tp 1717), Nana Opoku Ware I (1720-1750) Nana Kusi Obodum (1750-1764) Nana Osei Kwadwo (1764-1777 Nana Osei Kwame (1777-1798) Nana Opoku Fofie (1798-1799) Nana Osei Bonsu (1800-1823) Nana Osei Yaw Akoto (1824-34) Nana Kwaku Dua I (1834 - 67) Nana Kofi Karikari (1867-74) Nana Mensah Bonsu (1874-1883) Nana Kwaku Dua II in 1884 Nana Kwaku Duah II alias Nana Agyeman Prempeh I from 1888 to 1931, Nana Osei Tutu Agyeman Prempeh II from 1931 to 1970 Otumfuo Opoku Ware II from 1970-1999. The Asante kingdom was founded by the great King Osei Tutu in the eighteenth century. His fetish priest was Okomfo Anokye, who unified the Asante states through allegiance to the Golden Stool, which miraculously descended from heaven. Okomfo Anokye planted two trees in the forest and predicted that one tree would live and become the capital of Ashanti. Hence is derived the name Kumasi (the tree lived); the place in which the other tree was planted became Kumawu (the tree died). Although located in the heart of the forest, Asante dominion was extended by military action and political skill towards the European occupied castles on the coast to the south, and also into the dry savannah lands to the north. This led to various wars with Britain. Kumasi was captured by the British Army in 1873 (as a result of which much of the magnificent Asante gold regalia can be seen in Londo n in the British Museum). After a final uprising in 1901, led by the Queen Mother of Ejisu (Yaa Asantewaa) Asante came into British Protection and finally became a region of the Gold Coast colony. In 1957, after a period of internal self-government, the Gold Coast becam e the first African colony to achieve independence under the charismatic leadership of Kwame Nkrumah. Kumasi Getting to the end of the 17th century Anokye Komfuo planted three "KUM" trees at different places. One at Kwaaman ruled by the Nananomayokofuo , a second one at Apemso-Bankofo ruled by Nananomaduanafuo and a third a village near Fomena and Amoafo called Oboani ruled by Nananomekuonafuo. The Kum tree at Kwaaman flourished and became a very big tree under which the King and his people often sat and so Kwaaman became Kum-ase meaning under Kum.

The tree at Oboani was however very tiny and for no apparent reason was relatively short. According to oral tradition this small tree however produced a couple of other trees which were all small in size. The name of the village was changed to Kuma meaning small KUM. The Kum tree at Apemso-Bankofo did not grow at all. After some few weeks the leaves got rotten and the tree fell down and so it was said that the Kum tree has died or the Kum tree was dead and so the village became Kum-awu and this later chnaged to become Kumawu.

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