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 Social, Economic and Political Organization of African societies upto 19th C

Political organization of the Asante.

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Political organization of the Asante.
-The Asante had a centralized political system. The Nucleus of the Asante Empire was five city-states of Kumasi, Dwaben, Bekwai, Kokofu and Nsula.
-The empire comprised of three parts, namely Kumasi (Metropolitan Asante), Amatoo states and Provincial Asante. Each part had its own system of
administration though the three cooperated in some areas.
-Kumasi was directly ruled by the Asantehene and was recognized asKumasihene.
Metropolitan Asante.
-These were the five states that lay 35 miles around Kumasi and which recognized the Asantehene as the supreme authority.
-The government of the metropolitan Asante
consisted the confederacy council made of the Kings (Omanhene) of the various states and presided over by the Asantehene.
-Each of the five states had its own state council that made important decisions. Each also had its own Black stool that symbolized their power over the state.
-The omanhenes were expected to give the right of declaring war on another
Omanhene, attended the annual Odwira festival (to pay allegiance to Asantehene, settle disputes and honor the dead), grant own subjects the right to appeal to the high court set up for the union of the capital and recognize the right of Asantehene to impose national levies.
-Neither the Asantehene nor the Omanhene enjoyed dictatorial powers.
-The kingdom had an army that was divided into several wings. Though overall leadership of the army was provided by the Asantehene, each Omanhene command his own forces. The Asantehene was deputized by Mamphohene who automatically take over army leadership whenever the Asantehene was unavailable.
-The golden stool, an idea invented by a priest called Okomfo Anokye (he claimed it came from the sky in 1695) It was a source of unity as it bound together the Asante states since they all recognized its sacredness.
Provincial Asante
-It comprised all the states conquered by the Asante in the 18th century (subject states). Such people were represented in the army and paid taxes to the Asantehene. -Osei Tutu appointed two consuls who resided in each subject state to supervise their affairs.


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