Asante royal thrones

Asante Royal Thrones

Asante royal thrones

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According to legend, Okomfo Anokye (High Priest and one of the two chief founders of the Asante Confederacy) caused the famous Asante royal throne known as the Golden Stool (Asante: Sika 'dwa) to descend from the heavens and land on the lap of the first Asante king, Osei Tutu. Such seats were traditionally symbolic of a chieftain's leadership, but the Golden Stool is believed to house the spirit of the Asante nation--living, dead and yet to be born.

Symbology and ritual

Each stool is understood to be the seat of the owner's soul and when not in use is propped against a wall so that other souls passing by may relax on it. The royal throne must never touch the ground; instead it is placed on a blanket. During inauguration, a new king is raised and lowered over the stool without touching it. A throne is carried to the king on a pillow, as only the Asantehene himself is allowed to handle it.

Historical conflict

Several wars have broken out over the ownership of the royal throne. In 1896, Asantehene Prempeh I was deported rather than risk losing both the war and the throne. In 1900, Sir Frederick Hodgson, the Governor of the Gold Coast, demanded to be allowed to sit on the Golden Stool, and ordered that a search for it be conducted. This provoked an armed rebellion known as the War of the Golden Stool which resulted in the annexation of Ashanti to the British Empire, but preserved the sanctity of the Golden Stool. In 1920, African road workers discovered the stool and...
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