The traditional head of the Ashanti region of Ghana, Asantehene Otumfuo Opoku ware II, visited the Commonwealth Institute in London on Friday (23 June) as part of his current British tour.
GV Sign "Common-wealth Institute"
GV Chief's car arrives
GV Chief out of car and greeted by Institute director
GV Chief and party into institute and look at exhibits (2 shots)
GV & CU Chief looks at model of previous Chief
SV Exhibit PAN TO Chief and director
Initials BB/0025 RM/JB/BB/0200
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Background: The traditional head of the Ashanti region of Ghana, Asantehene Otumfuo Opoku ware II, visited the Commonwealth Institute in London on Friday (23 June) as part of his current British tour.
Accompanied by the Director of the Institute, the Asantehene examined various exhibits, including one on traditional life in Ghana which portrayed a past Ashanti Chief.
The Ashanti Empire was established in the 17th century. The religion of the Ashanti, as elsewhere in Chana, in largely the worship of ancestors. The title Asantehene means "King of the Ashantis." The secondary title Otumfuo translates: "the Most Mighty."
The most sacred shrine of the Ashanti tribe is the Golden Stool which carries the simple inscription:"In life, someone sits on someone else."
When the British moved into the Ashanti territory in 1896, the Governor of the Gold Coast, as it was then called, missed the significance of the Golden stool, and as a representative of Queen Victoria declared his right to sit on it.
The horrified Ashantis rose against him and nine months of bitter fighting followed before the British were again in control of the Asnanti region. The area was declared a British Colony in 1901.
The present Asantehene, who is also President of Ghana's House of Chiefs, is not constitutionally a sovereign. But the Ashanti people given him the respect due to a hereditary king.
The Ashanti Chief's month-long tour of Britain ends on 19 July. Before it is over, the Asantehene - the first Ashanti ruler to be invited by the British Government ??? will tour places of interest both in London and in the provinces. The programme ends with a three day tour of Scotland.