Talk:Ashanti Empire

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do they have fun and if so what do they do for fun? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 8:09, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

dang...guess we did kinda miss out on that. i'll see what info i can dig up from my sources. holla.Scott Free 13:50, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

The Mythic and Absurd origins of the Asante[edit]

The history and origins of the Asante presented in this article corresponds neither to current academic literature nor Asante (and Akan)oral and drum histories. The absurdity of foreign origins of the Asante and other Akan peoples as been refuted by credible archaeological and anthropological research. There is no evidence of the Akan coming from Ghana Empire in Mauretania. There is no evidence of any migration from the Niger Bend or from any of the empires located along it.

The Asante (Ashanti) are an extension of the Akan cultural group, which includes the Abora, Abron, Adanse, Agona, Ahafo, Ahanta, Akuapem, Akwamu, Akyem, Aowin, Assin, Baule, Denkyira, Fante, Gyaman, Kwahu, Nzema, Sefwi, Twifo, and Wassa. Located primarily in the former nexus of the Atlantic Slave Trade (the Republic of Ghana), the Akan cultural group belongs to the Tano language sub-group in the Niger-Congo language family. Population movement and political distinctions among the various Akan-speaking people have given rise to dialectical distinctions over the past few centuries. Linguistic comparisons between the non-Akan languages that share the Tano sub-group (Guan, Krobu, and Abure) reveal a linguistic affinity among these populations. The Akan, Guan, Krobu, and Abure languages derived from a single parent language.

The affinity of the Tano group and its geographic dispersion contradict theories of northern invasions and eastern migrations. Akan origins, as are the origins of many civilizations around the world, are obscure and a few outlandish theories have been proposed. One of the most farfetched is the claim that Libyan Berbers or Egyptian refugees traveled from a mysterious kingdom near Carthage and colonized the “Negro aboriginals” (Meyerowitz, 1958:17-21). The Akan, however, claim that they are autochthonous to the region where they are now found and that their ancestors ascended from caves or descended from the sky, which are, in my opinion, metaphors for commoner/ancient origins versus royal or sacred origins, respectively. No insertions or remnants of exogamous languages have so far been found that would point to Saharan invaders or Nilotic migrants or even Mande-speaking traders, who for non-Islamic West Africans have become the ‘new Hamites’ in current theories of cultural diffusion (Wilks, 1961, 1982). Most of the Akan are found in the southern half of the Republic of Ghana. A few, like the Baule and the Abron, are found in central and southeastern Cote d’Ivoire. Though the speakers of the Tano sub-family languages are widely dispersed, a linguistic map clearly shows how each branch in the Tano sub-family is adjacent to the branches to which it has its closest affinity. This creates a picture of population growth and language distinction within a single autochthonous civilization occurring over millennia. Aside from sharing a common language, the Akan-speakers, generally, share a basic indigenous religion, kinship structure, calendar, and political structure also.

Archaeological evidence from the ‘capital sites’ of Akan city-states is supportive of the oral histories of their political origins. The remains of permanent settlements and iron-smelting in the savanna/forest transition zone from the fourth century AD in an area called Abam near the site of one of the earliest known Akan states, Bono Manso, have been uncovered. As for the Asante region itself, the early, large settlement of the Asantemanso, the ancient capital of the city-state associated with Asante origins, has been partially excavated and shown to date back to the early 9th century (Vivian, 1990). This date is much earlier than any formerly proposed for the Asante or even for the Akan in the Asante region. Asantemanso has been continuously occupied for more a thousand years. Mysteriously, the 14th and 15th centuries are proposed as the start date for Akan state formation in the Bono region and the appearance of the Akan in the forest region of Ghana (Wilks, 1993). To date, very little archaeological work has been done on Akan ‘origin sites’, which are, presumably, older than their capital sites. The only exception being excavations carried out near the rock shelter site of Amuwi in the Bono region. This ‘origin site’ of the Bono revealed iron smelting dating from 105 AD. Further archaeological work throughout the Akan-speaking area will probably articulate the connection of the Akan sites to the ‘Kintampo Culture’ archaeological sites dating from about 2000 B.C., which have been found almost exclusively within the current Tano language group areas. This geographical dispersion within the Tano language zone, along with the continuity of the square courtyard-style houses of timber frames, clay, and plaster that the Akan continue to make, suggest that these sites of the earliest sedentary agricultural village life in West Africa do indeed represent the cultural antecedents of the Tano-speakers in general and the Akan in particular (Farrar, 1996: 1-3, 56).

From the beginning of the second century A.D. to the tenth century A.D., trends in the archaeological record show that in west central Ghana “…craft and technological specialization, proto-urbanism…” (Phillipson, 1995: 177; Andah and Anquandah, 1992: 243) were being developed and eventually led to the formation of numerous Akan city-states including Wenchi (D. Calvocoressi & Nicholas David, 1979: 16) and Adansemanso by the early 8th century, Asantemanso by the 9th (Vivian, 1990), Begho in the eleventh century (Anquandah, 1993: 645, 648, 649) and Bono Manso in the thirteenth (ibid, 645, 650, 651; Farrar, 1996: 44). Asantemanso’s florescence from 1200-1700 coincided with the shift of local, regional, and international trade networks to sources of gold that resulted in intense competition among the Akan over the gold-producing areas in Volta-Tano Watershed and access to traders in foreign goods from the Islamic, Indian, and European, and Atlantic worlds which gave rise to the larger states and eventually the ‘empires’ of Tekyiman, Denkyira, Aowin, Akwamu, Akyem, and Asante.

The archaeological record shows that “the complex organization of the Akan forest states [Adansemanso and Asantemanso] emerged concurrently with the forest fringe states” of Wenchi, Begho, and Bono Manso (Vivian, 1996: 39).

Although the 15th century date for Akan state formation is no longer supported by the archaeological record, it can not be disputed that dynamic changes were occurring in West Africa during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, especially along the 'Gold Coast' and its hinterland. The Saharan gold trade, directed towards the Islamic and Mediterranean worlds, had long since connected the Akan in and along the forest belt of present-day Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire to what was at that time the most productive global trade network. Considering the 8th century date of the Akan capital site of Wenchi, far to the north of the forest belt and the 8th century date for Adansemanso south of its 9th century forest belt neighbor Asantemanso, it appears the Akan were already well-established both in the forest belt and the savannah to the north of it by the time of the Arab conquest of North Africa. They were not forced to flee from some other part of Africa, they did not migrate from ancient Ghana or any other empire. They are indigenous to the borders of the Republic of Ghana.

Works Cited -Andah, B.W. and J.R. Anquandah (1992) ‘The Guinean Belt: the peoples between Mount Cameroon and Cote d’Ivoire’, in Hrbek, I (ed.), General History of Africa vol. Three: Africa from the Seventh to the Eleventh Century, London: James Currey Ltd. -Arhin, Kwame (1967) 'the Structure of Greater Ashanti (1700-1824)', in The Journal of African history, 8, 1. -Anquandah, James (1993) ‘Urbanization and State Formation in Ghana during the Iron Age’, in Shaw, Thurston, Paul Sinclair, and Bassey Andah, Alex Okpoko (eds.), The Archaeology of Africa, London: Routledge. -Apter, David, E. (1968) Ghana in Transition, Princeton: Athenaeum. - D. Calvocoressi; Nicholas David, (1979) A New Survey of Radiocarbon and Thermoluminescence Dates for West Africa, The Journal of African History, Vol. -Chazan, Naomi (1988) ‘The Early State in Africa: The Asante Case’, in Eisenstadt, S.N., Michel Abitbol, and Naomi Chazan (eds.), The African State in African Perspective, Leiden: E.J. Brill. -Daaku, K. Y. (1972) ‘Aspects of Precolonial Akan Economy’ The International Journal of African Historical Studies, Vol. 5, No. 2. pp. 235-247. -Farrar, Tarikhu (1996) Building Technology and Settlement Planning in a West African Civilization: Precolonial Akan Cities and Towns, Lewiston, New York: The Edwin Mellen Press. -Meyerowitz, Eva, L.R. (1958) The Akan of Ghana, London: Faber and Faber Limited. -Oliver, Roland, (1992) The African Experience, New York: Icon Editions. -Owusu, Maxwell (1987) “Kingship in Contemporary Asante Society’, in Schildkrout, Enid (ed.), The Golden Stool: Studies of the Asante Center and Periphery, New York: The Anthropological papers of the American Museum of National History (vol. 65, part 1). -Wilks, Ivor (1961) ‘The Northern Factor in Ashanti History: Begho and the Mande’ The Journal of African History, Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 25-34. -(1962) ‘A Medieval Trade-Route from the Niger to the Gulf of Guinea’ The Journal of African History, Vol. 3, No. 2, Third Conference on African History and Archaeology: School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, 3-7 July 1961. pp. 337-341. - (1982) 'Wangara, Akan and Portuguese in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries, I, The Matter of Bitu’, The Journal of African History, Vol. 23, No. 3, pp. 333-349. - (1982) 'Wangara, Akan and Portuguese in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries, II, The Struggle for Trade', The Journal of African History, Vol. 23, No. 4, pp. 463-472. -(1989) Asante in the Nineteenth Century, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. -(1993) Forests of Gold: essays on the Akan and the Kingdom of Asante. Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kbempong (talkcontribs) 22:03, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

Just to add to this idea, I'm confused about why there is no mention of Opoku Ware I, who is widely considered to be the founder of the Asante Empire. Moreover, there is no real description of the foundation itself, but only a general description of the centuries leading up to it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Bdf2812 (talkcontribs) 21:10, 11 December 2013 (UTC)


The important role corn played in the empire's ability to expand out of its original environment is not mentioned at all. Kdammers (talk) 06:58, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

Then add it :) Scott Free (talk) 00:48, 20 August 2009 (UTC)

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Ackees (talk) 15:28, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

Ancestor Worship[edit]

I take issue with the use of the term "Ancestor Worship". A more historically accurate and culturally sensitive term would be "Ancestor Veneration". Wikipedia already acknowledges this, the page "Ancestor Worship" links to is called "Veneration of the Dead" —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jewittm (talkcontribs) 22:33, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

False Satement: Asante Empire Did Not Extend All the way To the Republic of Benin Robert Baccah (talk) 22:00, 11 January 2015 (UTC)Robert baccah[edit]

Asante Empire did not stretch all the way to Dahomey, which is present day Benin. Asante reach to the East ended in the what is present day mid Volta Region. It did not even advance past the Volta Region into present day Togo, which is a country lying between the Volta Region and Dahomey now known as the Republic of Benin. If Asante Empire did not extend into Togo how does it jump past Togo and form a boundary with the Republic of Benin which is further East? Please provide sources to support these wild claims that Asante Empire on the east stretched all the way to Dahomey aka the Republic of Benin. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Robert Baccah (talkcontribs) 18:05, 11 January 2015 (UTC)

section on legal system[edit]

Starts in past tense and switches to presnet; can't really tell if this means this is true in the Ashanti autonomous region in present-day Ghana. That's a pretty fundamental thing to be unsure about, so I made no changes but could someone who knows please address this. Elinruby (talk) 04:20, 20 January 2016 (UTC)

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Redirected Ashantiland to point here[edit]

Per WP:BLAR, I've redirected that page to land here. Previously, it only discussed an area defined by the historical territorial extent of the Asante empire. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Landscape repton (talkcontribs) 11:40, 12 July 2017 (UTC)

Ashanti Empire disinformation[edit]

Ashanti Empire was founded by the Ashanti people ethnic group not Akan linguistic group and the core of the Ashanti Empire was the Ashanti Region although it expanded from the Ashanti Region (a inland island) this is widely known in provided sources. The Ashanti religion was traditional religion not Christianity and the official language of the Ashanti Empire specifically the territory of Ashanti Region was the Ashanti language and is still the official language of Ashanti Region. The Ashanti Empire was governed as a homogenous Ethnarch and despotic absolute monarchy specifically this widely known and can explained in sources and the same type of government is still continued in Ashanti Region. Comment added by Qolspin (talk • 10:05, 18 Septber 2017 (UTC)

End of slavery?[edit]

When did slavery end? I assume the British made noises about it after 1895 but was this effective? If not then when did it finally end? Can we have this in the article under the Slavery section or under the British Relations section if it happened then? LastDodo (talk) 10:22, 14 June 2019 (UTC)