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History of The Asante Empire
Our journey into the world of Lost Empires sees us discussing the lost age of the Asante Empire…A Pre-colonial West African state that emerged in the 17th century in what is now Ghana.
The Asante were an Akan-speaking people who established their state around Kumasi in the late 1600s, shortly after their first encounter with Europeans. The Wars associated with the European quest for Gold deposits appear to have been a catalyst for the formation of The Asante Empire.
The Reign Of Osei Tutu And The Asante Empire
Osei Tutu, the Asantehene (Paramount Chief) of the Asante Empire from 1701 to 1717 and his Priest Komfo Anokye, worked to unify a variety of independent chiefdoms into the most powerful political and military state in the coastal region.
They formed and organized the Asante union, an alliance of Akan-speaking people who were now loyal to Osei Tutu’s central authority.Â He made Kumasi the capital of the new Empire.Â He also created a constitution, reorganized and centralized the military.
Most importantly, Osei Tutu created the Golden Stool, a lasting symbol of the lost age of the Asante Empire which he argued represented the ancestors of all the Asante. It was upon the Golden Stool that Osei Tutu legitimized his rule and that of the royal dynasty that followed him.
Trade In Gold & Slaves
Gold was the major product of the Empire, and Osei Tutu made all gold mines royal possessions.
He also made gold dust the circulating currency in the empire which was accumulated and traded by Asante citizens. The Royal family would also melt it down and fashion it into new patterns of display in jewelry and statuary to project its power.
By the early 1800s however, the Asante Empire had become a major exporter of enslaved people.Â The slave trade was originally focused north with captives going to Mande and Hausa traders who exchanged them for goods from North Africa and indirectly from Europe.Â By 1800, the trade had shifted to the south as the Asante sought to meet the growing demand of the British, Dutch, and French for captives.
The consequence of this trade for the Asante was devastating.Â From 1790 until 1896, the Empire was in a perpetual state of war involving expansion or defense of its domain.Â The constant warfare also weakened the Empire against the British who eventually captured Kumasi and annexed the Asante Empire into their Gold Coast colony in 1902…It was the end of an era.
Legacy Of The Asante Empire
The lost age of the Asante Empire stands as a Historical testament to the existence of dynamic Pre-Colonial African States…In modern times, the Art and culture of the lost age of the Asante Empire has contributed to modern Physics as its ‘Adinkra’ cloth decorative patterns have now been adopted by modern Physicists like Dr Gates in their quest to map out the mathematical nature of Reality.
In this role, Adinkra haveÂ helped formulate 3D Models of the Equations which produce our ‘Reality Matrix’. Above is an exmaple which Scientists like Dr Gates claim visually represent the mathematical fabric of our Reality, and possibly the equations behind the simulation we experience as ‘Reality’ with our 5 senses…The Asante Empire is far from dead…
Peep the documentary on West Africa’s Golden Age.