The largest and most prestigious of the chiefdoms of Ghana, in West Africa. It emerged, under the Asantehene (king) Osei Tutu in the 1670s, as a powerful kingdom, the Asante Confederacy, ruled by the Asantehene from Kumasi (now in Ghana). The wealth of the confederacy was based on the control of trade, particularly of cola nuts, and of gold mines, and by selling slaves for European goods to the European trading stations established along the Gold Coast of West Africa. In 1807 the Asante occupied Fanti coastal territory. Following the British abolition of the slave trade they fought the British between 1824 and 1831, and again in 1874, when field‐marshal Viscount Wolseley (1833–1913) took and burned Kumasi, the Asante capital. Further troubles (1895–96) ended in the establishment of a Protectorate and the exile of Asantehene Prempeh I, and in 1901 Britain annexed the country. In 1924 Prempeh was allowed to return and an Asante Confederacy Council was set up in 1935 as an organ of local government, the Asantehene being head. In that year the Golden Stool, symbolizing the soul of the Asante people, was restored to Kumasi.
The people of the southern tropical forest of Ghana, who are also known as Asante, are a primarily agricultural people who farm crops for local consumption and produce cocoa as an important export crop. Asante society is organized on the principle of matrilineal descent (from men to men, via their mothers and sisters), but the Asante also recognize spiritual characteristics inherited from the father. The office of lineage head is symbolized by a lineage stool.
Subjects: World History.