AKWASIDAE IN KUMASI

Posted on March 25, 2010

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THE ASANTEHENE PHOTOGRAPHED BY DOLA YOUNG


LAST SUNDAY, MARCH 21 WAS AKWASIDAE. It’s a wonderful time to be in Kumasi. FOUR VILLAGES INN was full of course-two rooms booked by a large tour company and two rooms by a small one woman show called CGC (Connecting God’s Children) Cultural and Historical Tours run by Dola Young, Founder and C.E.O. Guess which company’s clients experienced the magic at the Asantehene’s palace….

You got it-Dola’s group! The other company had travelled from the coast and had arrived at dusk…and had missed the whole show. SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL! Dola works out of Houston, Texas. Here are her contact details: tel: 832-265-4337; fax:281-580-9291; e-mail: info@cgcinternationaltravel.com. A web site is presently under construction.

Needless to say, Dola, always with her clients’ best interests at heart, hired Comfort to take them around the Kumasi market. Here are the reviews:

Sam and Lou Greer: “Fantastic tour. We greatly appreciated the personal service and extra touch in the market”
Dola” “This was my second tour with Comfort and it was as great as the first-extremely informative and fun!

And for FOUR VILLAGES INN, the Greers wrote: “FANTASTIC!!We loved the royal treatment, the awesome breakfast and wonderful staff. Thsi was the perfect ending to a perfect trip to Ghana.”

and Dola writes “I always bring my clients here as part of their tour to Ghana. I am “at home” & so are they!

Madinghana, Eddie, the driver, Dola, Sam, Lou and Charity

Here are some more pics Dola got as the Akwasdae ceremony:

Courtiers


Fanfare


FANFARE FOR THE KING


THE ASANTEHENE APPROACHES

And here are a couple of descriptions of the Akwasidae celebration and the larger Adae Kese held every five years-it’s so big CNN always covers it!

Akwasidae festivals are held in Ghana every six weeks, honouring the ancestors and the Ashanti king.
Akwasidae is an ornate ceremony, commemorating the date that the Ashanti Golden Stool was magically brought down from heaven. The festival therefore features a golden stool alongside the central feature of attention, the Ashanti King, who is carried on a palanquin through the procession of Ashanti people who have come to pay homage to their King. It is a beautiful and spectacular site, with colourful canopies and umbrellas amongst drummers, dancers, hornblowers and singers who perform in honour of their ancestral spirits.

The Adae Kese Festival is a very important, albeit rare, celebration of the Ashanti’s. It is held in a large open space in the capital city of Kumasi. The festival is normally well attended and embraced by Ashanti’s from all walks of life.

Basically, the Adae Kese celebrations are magnified forms of Sunday Adae festivals, celebrated every six weeks in accordance with the Akan ca lender which is based on a cycle of forty- two days and nine months in a year. Invariably, the last Akwasidae festival is set aside for the celebration of Adae Kese.

Adae Kese is usually held to climax celebrations of specific milestones and achievements of the Asante kingdom. it was first celebrated to mark the attainment of statehood of a newly celebrated people, in the aftermath of the Ashanti war of independence, otherwise known as the “”Battle of Feyiase””, which was fought against the Denkyiras between 1697 and 1699. Adae Kese, like other Akwasidae events, serves as the platform for pledging allegiance to the kingdom and to affirm loyalty to the occupant of the Golden Stool which represents the unity and embodiment of all Ashanti.

The event is marked in two phases. There are solemn private observances which are performed at the King’s palace chambers by accredited members of the royal family and other functionaries. It includes rituals, aimed at cleansing the spirit of the incumbent King and the presentation of ceremonial sacrificial meal (Esq.) and drinks to ancestral spirits. Their blessing and protection guide the kingdom to prosperity.

The public celebrations take the form of a colourful durbar of chiefs and queen mothers presided over by the Asantehene. It involves the display of cherished regalia and paraphernalia accompanied by traditional drumming and dancing as well as firing of musketry amidst pomp and pageantry.

The Adae festival is a continuous demonstration of faith in the vision and heritage of the Asante Kingdom, which has existed since the introduction of the Golden Stool in 1700.

The festival is also to commemorate and re-enforce the independence of the Ashanti people and an occasion to re-affirm each state’s loyalty to the confederacy instituted in the aftermath of the Ashanti war of independence fought against the Denkyeras between 1697-1699. It provides a platform for the King to meet and share his thoughts with his sub-chiefs and subjects and also reward deserving ones.

Time your visit to coincide with an Akwasidae Festival, (Sunday Adae). You can determine the Akwasidae dates by counting 6 weeks down the calendar from 1 Adae. For example, in 1991 the dates were: January 6, February 17, March 31 May 12, June 23, August 4, September 15, October 27, December 8.

NOW COUNT SIX WEEKS FROM SUNDAY, MARCH 21 AND BE IN KUMASI!

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