List of rulers of Asante

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  • King of Ashanti
    Asantehene ma Asanteman
Ashanti Empire Flag.svg

King Asantehene Osei Tutu II of Ashanti-Asanteman.jpg

Style His – Your Majesty
First monarch Osei Tutu Opemsoo
1701 to 1717
Formation c. 1670
Residence Manhyia Royal Palace

Website The Ashanti Monarchy

The Asantehene is the absolute monarch of Ashanti and the Ashanti (or Asante) people. The Ashanti royal house traces its line to the Oyoko (an Abusua, meaning 'clan') Abohyen Dynasty of Nana Twum and the Beretuo Dynasty of Osei Tutu Opemsoo, who formed the Empire of Ashanti in 1701 and was crowned Asantehene (King of all Ashanti).[1] Osei Tutu held the Ashanti throne until his death in battle in 1717, and was the sixth king in Asante royal history.[2]

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]

The current Asantehene is Otumfuo Nana Osei Tutu II, born Nana Kwaku Dua, who ascended as the 16th Asante ling in April 1999. Osei Tutu II was one of seven descendants who were eligible to the heir presumptive.[5] The Asantehene is also automatically the lifetime patron of the Kumasi Asante Kotoko Football Club.

Elections and regents[edit]

During the period between the death of an Asantehene and the election of a successor, the Mamponghene, the Asantehene's deputy, acts as a regent.[6] This policy was only changed during a time of civil war in the late 19th century, when the Kwasafomanhyiamu or governing council itself ruled as regent.[6] The succession is decided by a series of councils of Asante nobles and other royal family members.[6]

The colonial era and Ashanti independence[edit]

Map of the Kingdom of Ashanti (left) and Ashanti (centre) with its administrative districts (right).

The Ashanti Confederacy was made a British protectorate in 1902, and the office of Asantehene was discontinued. In 1926, the British permitted the repatriation of Prempeh I – whom they had exiled to the Seychelles in 1896[7][8] – and allowed him to adopt the title Kumasehene, but not Asantehene. However, in 1935, the British finally granted the Ashanti their independence as the sovereign Kingdom of Ashanti, and the title of Asantehene was revived.[9]

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.[further explanation needed]

List of rulers[edit]

All rulers in the lists below were members of the Oyoko Abohyen Dynasty.

Kwaamanhene of the Kwaaman State[edit]

Name Start End Notes
Otumfuo Nana Twum about 1570 Ashanti Empire Flag.svg
Otumfuo Nana Antwi about 1600
Otumfuo Nana Kobia Amamfi about 1600 about 1630
Otumfuo Nana Oti Akenten about 1630 about 1640

Kumasehene of the Kumaseman State[edit]

Name Start End Notes
Otumfuo Nana Oti Akenten about 1640 about 1660 Ashanti Empire Flag.svg
Otumfuo Nana Obiri Yeboa about 1660 about 1680
Otumfuo Nana Osei Tutu Opemsoo about 1675/1680 1701 Founder of Asanteman. Reign continues as Asantehene. Kumasehene of Kumasi, King Asantehene Osei Tutu I of Asanteman

Asantehene of the Kingdom of Ashanti (Ashanti Empire)[edit]

All regents were members of the Beretuo Dynasty who were and still are the holders of the title Mamponghene.
Upon the death of the Asantehene, it is the task of the Mamponghene to act as the regent, or Awisiahene.[10]
Name Start End Notes
Otumfuo Nana Osei Tutu Opemsoo 1701 1717 King Asantehene Osei Tutu I of Asanteman
Regent 1717 to 1720 Amaniampon, the mamponghene
Otumfuo Nana Opoku Ware Katakyie 1720 1750 Ashanti Empire Flag.svg
Otumfuo Nana Kusi Oboadum 1750 1764 Forced to abdicate.
Regent 1764 Safo Kantanka, the mamponghene
Otumfuo Nana Osei Kwadwo Okoawia 1764 1777 Ashanti Empire Flag.svg
Regent 1777 Atakora Kwame, the mamponghene
Osei Kwame Panyin 1777 1803
Otumfuo Nana Opoku Fofie December 1803 March 1804 Ashanti Empire Flag.svg
Osei Tutu Kwame Asiba 1804 21 January 1824 Known as Otumfuo Nana Osei Tutu Kwame Asiba Bonsu from 1807.
Otumfuo Nana Osei Yaw Akoto 1824 21 February 1834 Ashanti Empire Flag.svg
Otumfuo Nana Kwaku Dua I 25 August 1834 27 April 1867
Otumfuo Nana Kofi Karikari 28 May 1867 26 October 1874 Forced to abdicate.
Regent 1874 Kwabena Dwomo, the mamponghene
Otumfuo Nana Mensa Bonsu 1874 8 March 1883 Forced to abdicate. Ashanti Empire Flag.svg
Asante Civil War 1883-1888
Otumfuo Nana Kwaku Dua II 28 April 1884 11 June 1884 Died after short illness.
Interim Council 1884-1887. Chairman Owusu Kofi 11 June 1884 to November 1884. Chairman Akyampon Panyin November 1884 to 1887.
Regent 1887 to 26 March 1888 Owusu Sekyere II, the mamponghene
Otumfuo Nana Prempeh I 26 March 1888 12 May 1931 Original throne name was Kwaku Dua III Asamu. Arrested by the British 1896. Exiled 1900. Released 12 September 1924. Restored as kumasehene 12 November 1926. King Asantehene Prempeh I of Ashanti Empire
Otumfuo Nana Osei Tutu Agyeman Prempeh II 22 June 1931 27 May 1970 Using title kumasehene at first, asantehene 31 January 1935. King Asantehene Prempeh II of Asanteman
Otumfuo Nana Opoku Ware II 6 July 1970 26 February 1999 Ruled as Ashanti King or Asantehene King Asantehene Opoku Ware II of Asanteman
Regent 26 February 1999 to 26 April 1999 Osei Bonsu II, the mamponghene
Otumfuo Nana Osei Tutu II 26 April 1999 Incumbent Asantehene King Asantehene Osei Tutu II of Asanteman

References[edit]

  1. ^ Shillington, loc. cit.
  2. ^ Collins and Burns (2007). p. 140.
  3. ^ a b Asante empire. Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
  4. ^ History of the Ashanti Empire. Ashanti.com.au. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
  5. ^ Kingdom of Ashanti Kings And Queens Of Asante. GhanaToGhana.com. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
  6. ^ a b c Shillington, op. cit. p. 195.
  7. ^ "The Exile of Prempeh in the Seychelles". Kreol International Magazine. 2012. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
  8. ^ "Asantehene to visit Seychelle". Modern Ghana. 5 July 2007. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
  9. ^ Ashanti.com.au. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
  10. ^ Ashanti knowledge. Retrieved 2012-11-12.

Further reading[edit]

  • Robert B. Edgerton, 1995, The Fall of the Asante Empire. The Hundred-Year War for Africa's Gold Coast. New York. ISBN 0-02-908926-3
  • Alan Lloyd, 1964, The Drums of Kumasi, London: Panther.
  • Ernest E. Obeng, 1986, Ancient Ashanti Chieftaincy, Ghana Publishing Corporation. ISBN 9964-1-0329-8
  • Kevin Shillington, 1995 (1989), History of Africa, New York: St. Martin's Press.

External links[edit]