Otumfuo Anniversary
Otumfuo Anniversary

The Manhyia Palace in Kumasi was on Wednesday witnessed the scene of picturesque dance displays and performances by hundreds of traditional priests and priestesses, who performed what is traditionally known as “Atano Dance”.

The event heralded activities lined up to mark the 20th anniversary celebrations of the enthronement of Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Asantehene, as the King of Asante.

The forecourt of the royal palace, the seat of the Asantehene and occupant of the golden stool, saw the traditional priests, numbering over 1,000 performing the traditional dance, to invoke the spirits of the Asante gods to protect the Asante kingdom and its occupant, from any predicament and secure better future for the people of Asanteman.

Some of the priests, clad in white cloths from the waists to the knee, had their faces and bare torso painted with white talcum with amulets around their waists, while others wore talisman-etched traditional smocks..

Spinning in artistic dance movements to traditional drums and lyrics, they showcased their supernatural powers with the slaughter of rams to pacify the gods.

As at 1100 hours, the entire forecourt of the Manhyia Palace was covered with a sea of people from all walks of life, who satisfied their curiosity by witnessing the traditional performances and demonstrations – a beautiful portrayal of the rich Asante culture and tradition.

The priests frolicked in the traditional dances and some of them who looked possessed by their deities, occasionally conjured money and other items like eggs, which some people in the crowd scrambled to lay their hands.

From their body language, the traditional priests and priestesses seemed to be competing among themselves since they tried to display various skills and powers, to demonstrate their supremacy.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II ascended to the Golden Stool in 1999 after succeeding his late brother, Otumfuo Opoku Ware II.

Since his enthronement, Otumfuo Osei Tutu has blended tradition with modernity to uplift the image of the chieftaincy institutions and Asanteman.

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