The group Ashanti are one of the ethnic groups of all Akan in Ghana.
They speak Twi is a dialect of Akan belonging to the Kwa group of languages.
Flag of the Ashanti
Empire Asante in Ghana
Asante federation grows in the thirteenth century. Kumasi is the capital . In the nineteenth century, the civilization reached its peak and occupies nearly 70% of modern Ghana. Community Asante was the largest of all the Akan states and the longest time. Core Oyoko clan, Asantemanso is their place of origin .
The whole world Akan extends Côte d'Ivoire, where it includes the interior and coastal ethnic groups, Apollos (Nzema), Anyi, Baule, Alladian, Adjoukrou, Tchaman nicknamed "Ébrié" Aboure, Avikam, Laouien, Abron etc..
The Ashanti were very divided and lived in small groups that will form city-states Denkyira vassals of the kingdom. The Oyoko will become dominant and win . Osei Tutu was the first king to unify these groups. The empire was first continental then the year 1806 marks the beginning of the conquest of the coastal region. The British eventually annexing Ghana. This will be the end of the Asante Empire .
* 1620: the Ashanti were vassals of the powerful kingdom Denkyira, one of the two kingdoms with Adansi to share the forest while Akwamu are towards the gold mines of Birin and the Greater Accra Region.
* Osei Tutu (1695-1712 or 1717) is the first king who united the Ashanti. In his younger years, when he was still a prince, he was sent to the court of his suzerain of the kingdom denkyria Boa. There he will be aware of Okomfo who later became his counsel and somehow his interior minister. They will establish the unity of the kingdom around the golden throne of the king descended from the founding myth of the sky and offered by the gods as divine covenant with the king. Osei will conquer the kingdom and the Akyem Denkyira while leaving considerable autonomy (the origins of institutions were intact).
* Opoku Ware (1731-1742) extends its sovereignty over the kingdoms of Gonja, Bono, and Akyem Akwapim.
* 1740: the kingdom of Bono has been a leading producer of gold. He collapses with its last king in 1740 Ameyaou Kwak, defeated by the Asante. In the late eighteenth century, the Ashanti federation (and its capital Kumasi) rules over a large part of the Akan world.
* Kodjo Osei (1752-1781) continues the expansion of the empire over the kingdoms of Banda, Dagomba (region of Côte d'Ivoire) while continuing to apply a system of federation.
* Osei Kwamina (1781-1797) was forced to abdicate because he does not spend enough on governance of his kingdom which had become an important axis between Muslim countries and the European forts on the coast. We now understand the importance that will take the land area of the Ashanti .
The war against the Denkyira
The Dutch favored the Denkyira by providing them with weapons (including guns, which was very unusual for the Europeans). Despite this support, succeeded in defeating the Ashanti Denkyira in 1701 at the Battle of Feyiase. Automatically, the Dutch changed their camp by sending an ambassador Van Nyendael with gifts in order to ensure their consideration. But the Dutch were unable to deliver goods which the Ashanti were plaintiffs, of weapons and gunpowder. Their tactics were thus still quite weak .
The war against the Fanti
The Fanti had begun to submit the coast becoming very interested intermediaries between Ashanti and the colonial powers. The Ashanti became a threat to the Europeans because they had been able to collect the north into a powerful federation. Recall that the Ashanti controlled the trade between the territories where there was gold and the kingdom of Songhay. The Ashanti were therefore relevant to the conquest of the coast but they clashed with the Fanti for nearly a century.
Asantehene Prempeh I (1872-1931)
English, Swedish, Danish and Dutch wanted peace between the peoples of the coast and those inside (Ashanti) to be able to trade peacefully. And the Ashanti who favors Dutch (West India Company) were engaged in wars against the Fanti who had alliances with the English. On 14 April 1727, the British suffered at Fort Secondi the onslaught of Ashanti. But in reality, they wanted to retain the presence of the English to play competition. The attacks were mostly demonstrations of power.
The war was largely waged against Fanti (in which we add the Nzima) who were the occupants of the coast. The Ashanti led for two more years of war against the Fanti, which paralyzed trade. The English had tried to bring peace by giving gifts. In August 1729, an agreement seemed even found. But a year later, the war continued unabated. The Fanti could not be used continuously as mediators by the English because he should not give them too much importance and not to offend the Ashanti.
The Fanti, united in a confederation, have resisted for a long time against the colonial expansion of Ashanti with the support of English and were thus able to remain on the coast but at some point, the Europeans lost interest in the coast and this is when the Ashanti took over parts in 1806. But the transoceanic slave trade began to decline and be replaced by the trade in palm oil .
* 1831: George Maclean sign a treaty with the Ashanti who renounce all areas of the coast . This will mark the beginning of British colonization of the Gold Coast. Very soon, the military organization of the Ashanti, their wealth and colonial expansionism aroused the admiration of the English they attributed a supposed ethnic superiority. In the collective unconscious of Europeans, confusion settled. The Ashanti became the only ethnic group in the Gold Coast and now Ghana.
Ceremony of the court of Asante in 1817
The Ashanti are traditionally governed by a king known as the Asantehene. The leaders of nations vassals continue to look after local politics while the Asantehene handles foreign policy. All these leaders are the same as the Ashanti chiefs. An annual tax is levied to pay the army, which maintains the unit. Once a local leader tries to rebel, the army intervenes. As usually in the Akan community, the transmission of royal power was matrilineal. A king's son can not claim to royalty and the struggle for succession, sometimes bloody, were driven into exile waves Ashanti mainly to Cote d'Ivoire now. The Queen Mother is a character of great importance. Each has his stool Royal Asantehene, carefully preserved and venerated after his death, and a drum. The stool royal founder is represented on the flag Ashanti. The sword and umbrella are the two other royal symbols.
Ashanti wars were not the sole purpose of obtaining thousands of slaves in order to profit by selling a portion, about one third, the European forts on the coast. The captives were necessary for the Asante Empire in the production of gold and limits of the empire to its supply with the North. Kumasi has long been one of the largest slave markets of continental Africa. A very large proportion of local slaves were also used as "material sacrifices" during major events (funerals, town festivals, joyful seasonal, etc.).. Those who were sold to Europeans, among other cons of gunpowder and guns, were those whose Ashanti did not need.
Weight for weighing gold
Weight for weighing gold
Asante traditional buildings are classified as World Heritage.
Many people around the world have inherited the culture Fante-Asante, especially the black community in North America or in Dutch and French Guiana . Care must be taken not to attribute solely to Ashanti all cultures and areas of Ghana, as do many journalists.
The Ashanti are noted for their traditional weights for weighing gold, lost wax castings with different patterns show great artistic qualities.
The priests and Ashanti are almost deified in permanent connection with the beyond which they can instantly decrypt messages from God .
The Ashanti believe that there are seven souls that correspond to each day of the week. Thus, we give the name of the day of the week the baby just born
In view of reincarnation, the soul again towards the Creator, while the male principle lies in the ancestors and it is the link for "blood" which is transmitted by the mother's womb. A child can become a person without really being identical with respect to a deceased person (often the child bears the name and surname of the deceased) .
Notes and references
1. ? Asante means either the country or the people is still the language according to Christaller 1875 (1964), p. 427. For Meyerowitz, are "people of San". For Braff, these are the Asante: the dispersed or (cities) scattered. But the version most accepted, even by the Asante, it would be "the people together because of the war" translation of osa nti for - Gerard Pescheux 2003, p. 76
2. ? It is possible to speak of ethnic groups because they are people who have gathered against the empire denkyria
3. ? a and b Jean-Michel Deveau, 2005, p. 30-35
4. ? a and b Patrick Puy-Denis, 1994, p. 35-36