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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Demise and Enthronement of the Asantehene: Political Aspects of Asante Kinship
Author:Akutsu, Shozo
Periodical:Senri Ethnological Studies
Geographic term:Ghana
Ashanti polity
kingship rituals
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Abstract:One of the keys to understanding the kingship of the Asante of Ghana is presumed to lie in the mode of succession to the throne based on the principles of 'blood' and 'soul'. The king must be a son of a queen mother from a royal family called 'Oyoko' and his father must belong to a specific 'ntoro' (semen) group. Furthermore, he must inherit the 'Żokra' (soul) of his predecessors. This article first discusses the important role of the Asantehemma (Asante queen mother) in selecting the successor to the throne, the periods of reign of kings and queen mothers, and the demise of kings (the use of metaphors when referring to a king's death, causes of death of kings, primary and secondary burials of the king's corpse, and sacrifices of wives and followers after the king's death). Next, the author examines the funeral and the enthronement ceremony of the kings, paying attention to the use of the Akan calendar in determining the days for the rituals. The flow from the former king's funeral to the attestation ceremony for the new king is an incessantly consistent ritual process. The attestation ceremony is a ceremony conducted to allow the separated 'Żokra' of his predecessors to be reaccepted by the new king. In conclusion, attention is paid to the relationship between Asante kingship and gold as two symbolic powers. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum.