Ashanti Kingdom

The Ashanti (also spelled Asante) Empire (1701–1957) was a West African sovereign state of the Ashanti people of Ashantiland (Ashanti, Brong-Ahafo, Central region, Eastern region, Greater Accra region, and Western region, of present-day southern Ghana). The Ashanti ethnic group are a Akan origin, historically inhabiting an area known as Ashantiland. They used their military power, which came from effective strategy and an early adoption of firearms, to create an empire that stretched from central Ghana to present-day Ivory Coast. Due to the empire’s military prowess, wealth, architecture, sophisticated hierarchy and culture, the Ashanti empire was studied and had one of the largest historiographies by European, primarily British, sources of any indigenous Sub-Saharan African political entity. From the 17th century AD, Asanteman king Osei Tutu ( – 1717), along with Okomfo Anokye, established the Kingdom of Asanteman, with the Golden Stool of Asante as a singular unifying symbol. Osei Tutu engaged in a massive Asante territorial expansion. He built up the army based on introducing new organization and turning a disciplined royal and paramilitary army into an effective fighting machine. In 1701, the Asanteman army conquered Denkyira, giving the Ashanti access to the Gulf of Guinea and the Atlantic Ocean coastal trade with Europeans, notably the Dutch. King Opoku Ware I (1720–1745) engaged in further Akan territorial expansion, and king Kusi Obodom (1750–1764) succeeded king Opoku Ware I. Asante king Osei Kwadwo (1764–1777) imposed administrative reforms that allowed Asanteman to be governed effectively. King Osei Kwame Panyin (1777–1803), and King Osei Tutu Kwame (1804–1824) continued Asanteman territorial consolidation. Asanteman is the location of Lake Bosumtwi, Ghana’s only natural lake. The state’s current economic revenue is derived mainly from trading in gold bars, cocoa, kola nuts and agriculture; clearing forest to plant cassava, maize and yams. Today the Ashanti monarchy continues as a constitutionally protected, sub-nation state and traditional state within Ghana. The current king of Asanteman is Otumfuo Osei Tutu II Asantehene.