okomfoanokye-4

HIDDEN TREASURES OF THE GOLD COAST

?A LOOK AT GHANA?S UNTAPPED RESOURCES

?You must always know the past, for there is no real Was, there is only is?. ? William Faulkner

It is the third largest of 10 administrative regions, occupying a total land surface of 24,389 km2 (9,417 sq. mi) or 10.2 per cent of the total land area of Ghana. In terms of population, however, it is the most populated region with a population of 3,612,950 in 2000, accounting for 19.1 per cent of Ghana?s total population.

The Ashanti region and Kingdom of Ashanti and Ashantiland is known for its major gold bar and cocoa production and also harbors the capital city of Kumasi. Welcome.

Located in Bantama, popularly known among the dwellers of Kumasi as ?Gee? is the Okomfo Anokye Sword Site. The term Okomfo is a twi terminology meaning the ?traditional priest,? who has been the greatest priest in the Ashanti tradition. The legendry traditional or fetish priest, Okomfo Anokye, is accredited to be the man who conjured from the skies, the much revered Golden stool of the Asante, which is said to have happened on a Friday. The Stool is supposed to ?contain? the soul of the Asante nation. Okomfo Anokye was a very close confidante of the Asante monarch, King Osei Tutu. Historical accounts have it that Okomfo Anokye one day ?planted? a sword in the ground, and told those present at the event that the day the sword would be uprooted, the Asante Kingdom would collapse. Numerous people over the years have tried to uproot the sword but all in vain.

In the early 1960s, the then World Heavy weight Boxing Champion Cassius Clay (Mohammed Ali), visited Ghana. While in Kumasi, he also tried unsuccessfully to uproot the sword and later gave up after several failed attempts. Another unsuccessful attempt was made later to uproot Okomfo Anokye?s Sword using bulldozers. This was also not successful. Visitors to this sword site would have the rare opportunity of trying their hands on this legendary sword which seems to demonstrate supernatural powers.

Nevertheless much of the sword has been shrunken by the weather and other corrosive compounds; at least, the relic still remains. This is where the renowned Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) representing a monumental facility is located. From traditional Ashanti folks, the Ashanti kingdom was united under one king and strengthened, with the help of Komfo Anokye. As a fetish priest, he interceded on behalf of the people and was the mouthpiece of the gods. History holds it that Okomfo Anokye helped his friend Osei Tutu I in establishing a capital for the Ashanti kingdom. He asked his friend to plant two ?Kum? trees in different locations. The tree that survives would be the capital of the Ashanti Kingdom. With this in mind and already prophesized, one tree died leaving one surviving, which was called Kumasi meaning ?under Kum? or ?living Kum?. The other tree that died was called Kumawu meaning the ?dead Kum.?

Do not forget to visit the amazing Military Museum, Kumasi zoo, and the Center for National Culture. As the heartbeat of the rich culture of Ghana.

Kumasi is endowed with numerous cultural activities and festivals including the famous Adae Kese festival which is a Kente festival celebrated in July/ August in Bonwire (Ejisu-Juaben District). The Manhyia Palace (previously covered by Hidden Treasures) is not far from KATH.

VISITOR ACCOUNT

A few weekends ago, our group took a trip to Kumasi. Kumasi is in the Ashanti region of Ghana and north of Cape Coast. Kumasi is probably my favorite part of Ghana that I have seen so far. I am not exactly sure why. It was beautiful for one, so green and fresh. The city was exciting and fast paced but nothing like the traffic, over-packed Accra. We left at about six in the morning on Friday.

Our group was on a schedule and we did not get to completely explore the village of Bonwire, but we did learn how to weave kente and explore the central kente market of the village. Emma and I did get to explore Bonwire again this Easter weekend, however most everything was closed because of Easter.

After visiting Bonwire, we headed to the carving village where we got to watch wood being carved.

That night Emma and I went out with our advisor, Ebenezer, who took us to an outdoor hangout spot near a sports stadium. It was cool because we got to see a live band playing Ghanaian highlife music, which is kind of like jazz music.

The next day our group explored the Manhyia Palace museum, which is the home of some of the Asanti kings.

After that our group went to visit the Komfo Anokye sword site. The sword site is where a priest in the 17th century drove his sword into the ground so hard that it is unmovable. If the sword is ever moved it is said to be the end of the Ashanti kingdom? even Muhammad Ali has tried and failed.

How to Get There

Locating the sword site in Kumasi is like locating the mouth in the dark. Once you arrive at Kumasi, almost everybody can direct you to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH). Arriving at Kejetia, a metro mass transit to either Sofoline or Bantama can be boarded and the visitor can alight at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH).

Also, a trotro can also be boarded which will get you right in front of KATH, where the sword site is located.

Accommodation

Finding a place to stay it not a headache for visitors. Kumasi is well developed, holding a large number of hotels and restaurants. Accessible hotels include Rainbow Garden Village Guest House, Golden Tulip, Remax hotel, Sambra among a wide range of other hotels in the metropolis. These hotels provide a wide range of customer products ranging from swimming pools, stylish architectural designs, with welcoming ambiance to meet the needs of family travelers, business travelers, leisure tripers, pleasure seekers and others.

The prices of these hotels range from the pockets of the lower class to the high class customers. For example, Golden Tulip has prices ranging US$ 119 to the presidential suite. Restaurants in the place include fast food joint to well-developed in-house restaurants.

Rainbow Garden Village Guest House offer a much lower price charges above US$ 13.50. Accessible food joints include Chinese restaurants and local establishment focusing on the varied need for all visitors from different backgrounds.

These establishments provide a wide range of continental (fried rice, pizza, etc) and local dishes (fufu, banku, tuo-zaafi, rice balls).

Proximate to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) are a number of drinking bars and entertainment. Bars offer a wide range of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, both local and continental. Are you a fun of night life? Kumasi offers a mix of activities to make your night life an unforgettable one.

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