Asante Kingdom became the greatest kingdom in Ghana after the demise of the Denkyira Kingdom in the Battle of Feyiase in 1700s. It was after this battle the cluster of villages who united to rebel the Denkyira rule was united by Komfo Anokye and Osei Tutu I to form the Asante Kingdom – arguably the most powerful kingdom in West Africa during the colonial days. How did we get the name Asante?
- The Asantes are among the Twi Speaking Akan people. These people first settled at Asantemanso forest and around Lake Bosomtwe. They first served the Adanse State which was later overthrown by the Denkyira State. One school of thought says Asante got the name from special commodity they served the Denkyira Kingdom. All states under Denkyira were sending commodities like gold dust, plantain fibre to Denkyira every ‘Akwasidae.’ In addition to these commodities, the Asantes were sending red clay as a special commodity to Denkyira. The Akans call the clay, “Asan”, therefore the Asantes were differentiated from the other groups as “Asan tefo” (those who dig for clay to Denkyira).
However, the mostly accepted theory is that the Asante group could not take the tyrannical rule of their overlord, the Denkyira King (Ntim Gyakari). These people were forced to rebel the Denkyira rule after Ntim Gyakari demanded brass pan of gold dust and elderly wife of each Asante chief. This was the last straw that broke their back. All the lower states united to form a unified military to fight Ntim Gyakari’s tyrannical rule. Those who united to fight Denkyira did so because of war. Hence the name, “esa nti’. This name was later corrupted to ‘Asante’. This particular origin of the name is what is widely endorsed by historians because it is more valid as the name coincide with the date of the Battle of Feyiase.
NOTE: Asante is not a tribe but a Kingdom of Akan tribe.
Let us always trace our ancestry. thank you very much.