The Ashanti You Don’t Know.

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Ashanti or Asante were an ethnic subgroup of the Akan-speaking people, and were composed of small chiefdoms.The Ashanti established their state around Kumasi in the late 1600s, shortly after their first encounter with Europeans,and it was an Akan empire and kingdom in what is now modern-day Ghana from 1670 to 1957.

Ashanti mapping

In some ways the Empire grew out of the wars and dislocations caused by Europeans who sought the famous gold deposits which gave this region its name, the Gold Coast. During this era the Portuguese were the most active Europeans in West Africa.  They made Ashanti a significant trading partner, providing wealth and weapons which allowed the small state to grow stronger than its neighbors.  Nonetheless when the 18th Century began Ashanti was simply one of Akan-speaking Portuguese trading partners in the region.

The Ashanti Empire expanded from Ashanti to include the Brong-Ahafo Region,Central Region,Eastern Region,Greater Accra Region and Western Region of present-day Ghana. 

The Ashanti benefited from early firearm adoption. Combined with effective strategy, they fashioned an empire that stretched from central Ghana to the present-dayIvory Coast. Due to the empire’s military prowess, wealth, architecture, sophisticated hierarchy and culture, the Ashanti Kingdom has been extensively studied and has more historiographies by European, primarily British authors than almost any other indigenous culture of Sub-Saharan Africa.

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