Thursday, February 20, 2014

Kings & Queens In The Modern African Nation Of Ghana

Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post showcases 7 videos of contemporary kings and queens in Ghana, West Africa.

Information about the ancient empire of Ghana and a description of the king of that empire are provided in this post along with information about the modern nation of Ghana.

This post also provides videos and comments about the Asantehene, the great king of the Asantes [Ashantis], videos of the king (Dwabenhene) and queen of the Akan state of Dwaben (Juaben), and a video of another king in modern day Ghana.

The content of this post is presented is for historical, educational, cultural, and aesthetic purposes. My overarching goal is to debunk the widespread misconception in the United States and elsewhere that the only royalty in the entire huge continent of Africa were the pharaohs and queens of historical Egypt.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Much respect is given to all those who are featured in these videos. Thanks to the publishers of these videos on YouTube and thanks to all those who are quoted in this post.

"Ancient Ghana
Despite its name, the old Empire of Ghana is not geographically, ethnically, or in any other way, related to modern Ghana. It lies about four hundred miles north west of modern Ghana. Ancient Ghana encompassed what is now modern Northern Senegal and Southern Mauritania...

What is clear, is that the Empire derived power and wealth from gold. And the introduction of the camel in the Trans-Saharan trade boosted the amount of goods that could be transported.

Most of our knowledge of Ghana comes from Arab writers. Al-Hamdani, for example, describes Ghana as having the richest gold mines on earth. These were situated at Bambuk, on the upper Senegal River...
The King adorns himself like a woman wearing necklaces round his neck and bracelets on his forearms and he puts on a high cap decorated with gold and wrapped in a turban of fine cotton. He holds an audience in a domed pavilion around which stand ten horses covered with gold-embroidered materials…and on his right, are the sons of the vassal kings of his country, wearing splendid garments and their hair plaited with gold.

At the door of the pavilion are dogs of excellent pedigree. Round their necks they wear collars of gold and silver, studded with a number of balls of the same metals."
10th century geographer Al-Bakri, quoted in Corpus of Early Arabic Sources for West African History
"Ghana ..., officially called the Republic of Ghana, is a sovereign state and unitary presidential constitutional republic, located along the Gulf of Guinea and Atlantic Ocean, in West Africa. In 1957, Ghana became the first nation to declare independence from colonization in sub-saharan Africa...

The word Ghana means "Warrior King" and was the title accorded to the kings of the medieval Ghana Empire in West Africa, although this empire was further north than the modern-day country of Ghana in Guinea region.[16]

The name "Ghana" was the source of the name "Guinea" (via French Guinoye) used to refer to the West African coast off Ghana (as in Gulf of Guinea).[17]

Ghana was adopted as the legal name for the area comprising four separate parts which immediately before independence enjoyed distinct constitutional positions:[18]
the Colony of the Gold Coast;
the Colony of Ashanti;
the Protectorate of the Northern Territories; and
the Trust Territory of Togoland (under British administration)...

Ghana is a unitary presidential constitutional republic with a parliamentary multi-party system....

Ghana is divided into 10 administrative regions. [One of those regions is the Ashanti Region whose capitol is Kumasi.]"...

..."The Asantehene is the ruler of the Ashanti people and the Kingdom of Ashanti, historically a position of great power. The Asantehene is traditionally enthroned on a golden stool known as the Sika 'dwa, and the office is sometimes referred to by this name.[3] The Asantehene is also the titular ruler of Kumasi, capital of Ashanti. The Asante state, or Asanteman (also known as the Kingdom of Ashanti, Ashantiland, Ashanti and Asante, Empire of Ashanti or Ashanti Confederacy), comprises the Ashanti region. The Ashanti Empire and Confederacy comprised part of present-day Akanland (southern Ghana) and portions of present-day eastern Côte d'Ivoire between the 17th and 20th centuries.[3][4]...

On 6 March 1957, the Kingdom of Ashanti entered a state union with Ghana, the Northern Territories, the Gold Coast Crown Colony and the British Mandate of Togoland to form the modern state of Ghana. The office of Asantehene is now a sub-national absolute constitutional monarchy, and is protected by the Ghanaian constitution."
There are other Asante royalty who give homage to the Asantehene.

The Juabenhene (Dwabenhene) is the titular king of the Juaben (Dwaben) people in the Akan State of Juaben (Dwaben). [refer to video example #2, #3 and #4 below]. Note that the summary statement for Example #2 refers to a honorary connection between the Dwaben Queen and the Ashantehene. A link to the lengthy summary statement is provided after the video given below as Example #4. That summary statement provides information about the history of the Juaben royalty & their historical and present day connections to the Asantehene.

These videos are presented in chronological order based on their posting dates with the oldest videos given first.

Example #1: Otumfuo Osei Tutu II at Ghana Expo 2004 Atlanta GA

adugyamfi67, Uploaded on Jan 27, 2010


Hunter Gatherer, Uploaded on Dec 2, 2010

The Queen of Juaben, Nana Akosua Akyaamaah III, greeting her son, by custom, the King of Asante, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.

Beforehand, Daasebre Otuo Serebour II on the left hand side of videopage, makes an ushering gesticulation.

Example #3: The King of Dwaben and Retinue About To Greet The King of Asante, Asantehene.

Hunter Gatherer, Uploaded on Dec 4, 2010

The King of Dwaben and retinue, arriving at a durbar in Kumasi. 2010
Click for a list of rulers of the Akan state of Dwaben.

"durbar" = the court of a native ruler, a public audience or levee held by a native prince or by a British governor or viceroy; an official reception."

Example #4: Ghana Asante. Africa. The Juabens, A Proud And Noble People

Hunter Gatherer, Uploaded on Oct 3, 2010
Click for a lengthy comment that provides historical information about the Juaben royalty and their relationship to the Asantehene. Here's an excerpt from that summary statement which explains the chant and music played with this pictorial video:
"This pictorial rendition is accompanied by the chant of the Kwadwom minstrels of Juaben, the blowing of state horns of Juaben and the drumming of dirges, appellations and other strong names of the Juaben kings. The kwadom, horn and drum accompaniment was recorded in the late 1950s or perhaps 1960s."

Example #5: The Asantehene

massaitotea, Uploaded on Oct 8, 2011

Features history, and culture of the Asantes of Ghana, with the primary focus of the documentary being the 10th anniversary celebration of the current Asantehene, Otumfuor Osei Tutu II.

Example #6: Busy Bee in Ghana: King Being Carried Through the Streets Odwira Festival

busybeebzb Uploaded on Oct 22, 2011

One of the kings being carried through the streets in Acropong Ghana, during the 2011 Odwira Festival
"Busy Bee" is the name of the video uploader.

Example #7: 40th Anniversary Of King Of Juaben (Dwaben) In Ashanti, Ghana And Ivory Coast, Africa

Hunter Gatherer, Uploaded on Feb 27, 2012

The King of Juaben, borne aloft in a palanquin and proceeding to the durbar grounds. 40th Anniversary of His Installation.

Click for another video of the Asantehene (King) Osei Tutu II's visit to Atlanta, Georgia [USA] in 2004.

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