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(äshän`tē) or


(äsän`tē), historic and modern administrative region, central Ghana, W Africa. The region is the source of much of Ghana's cocoa. It is inhabited by the Ashanti, a matrilineal Akan people who constitute one of Ghana's major ethnic groups. Before the 13th cent., Akan peoples migrated into the forest belt of present-day Ghana and established small states in the hilly country in the neighborhood of modern Kumasi. By the late 17th cent. the states had been welded by the Oyoko clan into the Ashanti confederation, with the capital at Kumasi and the Oyoko chieftain as king. After subduing neighboring states the confederation came into conflict with British settlements on the coast, although treaties of friendship were negotiated (1817, 1820). A series of Anglo-Ashanti wars in the 19th cent. ended with the defeat of the confederation (1896) and its annexation (1901) to the Gold Coast colony. The British exiled King Prempeh I to the Seychelles and, in spite of great resistance, broke up the confederation. It was restored in 1935. In 1945 the Ashanti were given representation in the executive and legislative councils of the Gold Coast. They supported an unsuccessful attempt to give Ghana a federal constitution in 1954 and resisted the centralizing measures of the Nkrumah government. The Ashanti king remains influential in S Ghana. The Ashanti are noted for the quality of their gold work and their colorful kente cloth, and are famous for the gold-encrusted stool that is the symbol of the kingship.


See R. A. Lystad, The Ashanti (1958, repr. 1968); R. Battray, Ashanti (1923, repr. 1971).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



Federation of the Ashanti, an early feudal-type state that flourished on the territory of the Gold Coast (now Ghana) from the late 17th century to the 19th century. The state was formed in 1697–1701. Agriculture and household industries played a large part in the economy of Ashanti (pottery, woodcarving, weaving, metalworking, etc.). The slave trade and gold trade were practiced. The supreme chief (asantehene) stood at the head of the state, with his residence in the town of Kumasi, and local chiefs (omanhene) headed the various districts. In 1896, Great Britain seized Ashanti in the course of the seventh Anglo-Ashanti war and concluded a treaty with various tribes establishing a protectorate. The Ashanti government then ceased to exist. After the 1900 Ashanti uprising against the British colonial rule was put down, Britain incorporated the territory of Ashanti into the Gold Coast colony in 1901. In 1935 the British formally restored the Ashanti state, but power in the country actually remained in the hands of the British governor of the Gold Coast. After the formation of the independent state of Ghana, the territory of Ashanti obtained the status of a region under the 1957 constitution.


Potekhin, I. I. “O feodalizme u ashanti.” Sovetskaia etnologiia, 1960, no. 6.
Potekhin, I. I. Stanovlenie novoi Gany. Moscow, 1965.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.



The Ashanti, also known as the Akans, are a people who live in the central region of Ghana. As with other African societies, for the Ashanti dreams hold the status of superior realities, and, it has been suggested, for some individual Ashantis dreams have as much if not more reality than waking experiences. R.S. Rattray, for example, has reported if a husband learns that another has dreamed of sexual intercourse with his wife, he will sue the dreamer for adultery because their souls are believed to have had sexual intercourse.

In an ethnopsychiatric study of the Ashanti, M.J. Field focuses on the distinction frequently made between “free” or spontaneous dreams and stereotypical dreams that is, those dreams individuals have repeatedly. Field describes how certain common elements of dream narratives indicate what they represent. For instance, in a dream the theme of being chased—whether by a deity, an animal, or even a weapon—indicates an individual who is afraid of retribution for a sin.

The Dream Encyclopedia, Second Edition © 2009 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.


an administrative region of central Ghana: former native kingdom, suppressed by the British in 1900 after four wars. Capital: Kumasi. Pop.: 3 187 607 (2000). Area: 24 390 sq. km (9417 sq. miles)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
In the Ashanti kingdom in Ghana, for example, the stool is said to have been conjured from the sky by a fetish priest.
In many respects, the Ashanti kingdom has kept up with the modern era.
Commander Henning said without history, the present generation might not know the contributions of the late Queenmother towards the liberation of the Ashanti Kingdom, adding that the Ghana Navy, which also protects the sea of the country, always associates itself with persons who had to liberate their people.
The Oyoko Family of Behenase in the Bekwai Municipality of the Ashanti Region has appealed to the Overlord of Ashanti Kingdom, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr.
Kumasi, the second largest city with a population of about 2.5 million and the seat of the occupant of the Golden Stool as head of the Ashanti Kingdom, is the first African city to have done so.
Addressing a short ceremony at Manhyia Palace before the MoU was signed, His Excellency Tom Hartley, on behalf of BC and the British government explained that the MoU will cement strong collaboration, particularly in four areas of mutual interest, being art and culture; education, enhancing the Asantehene's 20th Anniversary Celebrations and joint participation in events that support community level development in the Ashanti kingdom.
Again, Na Gariba I is believed to have had a very healthy relationship with Asanteman (Ashanti Kingdom), to a point that an Asante Princess was married off to him.
Nana Djan Kwasi II expressed worry over the fact that, no government has ever meddled in the entoolments of chiefs by the overlord of the Ashanti kingdom, His Royal Majesty Otumfuo Nana Osei Tutu II.
'In the face of the current precarious situation in which the country's poultry industry finds itself, against the fact that Kumasi was generally recognised as the poultry capital of Ghana, the Overlord of the Ashanti Kingdom expressed great worry and stressed that rejuvenating the poultry industry to expand production will not only generate employment for the Ghanaian youth, but also save the country the colossal amount of foreign currency which we expend annually on the importation of poultry products from abroad.
In a tweet on the official twitter handle of Manhyia Palace, it said: 'The Chancellor and Chair of Board of Governors from the University of East London cordially invite you to celebrate the official conferral of an Honorary Doctorate of Education upon His Majesty, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, King of the Ashanti Kingdom.'
A high-powered delegation from the Ashanti kingdom, led by Otumfuo Sumankwahene III, Baffoe Asabre was there to grace the funeral.