The Ashanti are skilful in several species of manufacture, particularly in weaving cotton.
There are a few Mahommedans in Ashanti, most of them traders from other countries, and the Basel and Wesleyan missionaries have obtained some converts to Christianity; but the great bulk of the people are spirit-worshippers.
The Assinis are of Ashanti origin, and chiefly of the Ochin and Agni tribes.
The Baule, who occupy the central part of the colony, are of Agni-Ashanti origin.
The best known are Koroko, Kong and Bona, entrepots for the trade of the middle Niger, and Bontuku, on the caravan route to Sokoto and the meeting-place of the merchants from Kong and Timbuktu engaged in the kola-nut trade with Ashanti and the Gold Coast.
At his own urgent request Prince Henry of Battenberg, the queen's son-in-law, was permitted to join the Ashanti expedition, and early in January the prince was struck down with fever.
ASHANTI, a British possession in West Africa, bounded W.
A great part of Ashanti is covered with primeval and almost impenetrable forest.1 Many of the trees, chiefly silk-cotton and hardwood, attain splendid proportions, the bombax reaching a height of over 200 ft., but the monotony is oppressive, and is seldom relieved by the sight of flowers, birds or beasts.
In their course through Ashanti, the rivers, apart from the Volta, are navigable by canoes only.
The most probable tradition represents the Ashanti as deriving their origin from bands of fugitives, who in the 16th or 17th century were driven before the Moslem tribes migrating southward from the countries on the Niger and Senegal.
The separation of Fanti and Ashanti has been ascribed to a famine which drove the former south, and led them to live on fan, or herbs, while the latter subsisted on san, or Indian corn, &c., whence the names Fanti and Santi.
The government of Ashanti was formerly a mixture of monarchy and military aristocracy.
It is stated by the early chroniclers that the king of Ashanti was bound to maintain the "fetish" number of 3333 wives; many of these, however, were employed in menial services.
The system of human sacrifices, practised among the Ashanti until the closing years of the 19th century, was founded on a sentiment of piety towards parents and other connexions - the chiefs believing that the rank of their dead relatives in the future world would be measured by the number of attendants sent after them.
Unlike many West African races, the Ashanti in general show a repugnance to the doctrines of Islam.
Part of the trade of Ashanti had been diverted to the French port of Assini in consequence of the wars waged between England and the Ashanti, but on the suppression of the revolt of 1900 measures were taken to improve trade between Kumasi and Cape Coast.
Kumasi is the distributing centre for the whole of Ashanti and the hinterland.
The gold output from Ashanti amounted in 1905 to 68,259 oz., valued at 2J4,790.
As far as the trade goes through British territory southward, the figures are included in those of the Gold Coast; but Ashanti does also a considerable trade with its French and German neighbours, and northwards with the Niger countries.
The Ashanti first came under the notice of Europeans early in the 18th century, through their successful wars with the kingdoms bordering the maritime territory.
Osai Tutu Early relations may be considered as the real founder of the Ashanti with the power.
The Ashanti reached the coast near Anamabo, where there was then a British fort.
The Ashanti, who lost over 2000 men, failed, however, to storm the English fort, though the garrison was reduced from twenty-four to eight men.
Torrane concluded an agreement with the Ashanti, acknowledging their conquest of Fantiland, and delivering up to them half the fugitives in Anamabo fort (most of the remainder were sold by Torrane and the members of his council as slaves).
The governor also agreed to pay rent to the Ashanti for Anamabo fort and Cape Coast castle.
"From the hour Governor Torrane delivered up Tchibbu [one of the Assin fugitives] I took the English for my friends," said the king of Ashanti, "because I saw their object was trade only and they did not care for the people.
In consequence of repeated invasions of Fantiland by the Ashanti, the British in 1817 sent Frederick James, commandant of Accra fort, T.
After several meetings with the king, a treaty was drawn up, which acknowledged the sovereignty of Ashanti over the territory of the Fanti, and left the natives of Cape Coast to the mercy of their enemies.
Sir Sir Charles M`Carthy, the first governor appointed by Charles the crown, espoused the cause of the Fanti, but was M`Carthy's defeated in battle by the Ashanti, the 21st of January fate.
The Ashanti had io,000 men to Sir Charles's Soo.
A state of chronic warfare ensued, until the Ashanti sustained a signal defeat at Dodowah on the 7th of August 1826.
From this time the power of the Ashanti over the coast tribes waned, and in 1831 the king was obliged to purchase peace from Mr George Maclean, then administrator of the Gold Coast, at the price of 600 oz.
The payment of ground rent for the forts held by the British had ceased after the battle of Dodowah, and by the treaty concluded by Maclean the river Prah was fixed as the boundary of the Ashanti kingdom, all the tribes south of it being under British protection.
The king (Kwaka Dua I.), who had succeeded Osai Okoto in 1838, was a peace-loving monarch who encouraged trade, but in 1852 the Ashanti tried to reassert authority over the Fanti in the Gold Coast protectorate, and in 1863 a war was caused by the refusal of the king's demand for the surrender by the British of a fugitive chief and a runaway slave-boy.
The Ashanti were victorious in two battles and retired unmolested.
No further fighting followed, but the prestige of the Ashanti greatly increased.
Thereafter preparations were made throughout Ashanti to attack the Fanti tribes, and the result was the war of 1873-74.
The Elmina were regarded by the Ashanti as their subjects, and the king of Ashanti held the Elmina "custom-note," - that is, he received from the Dutch an annual payment, in its origin a ground rent for the fort, but looked upon by the Dutch as a present for trade purposes.
The Ashanti greatly resented the occupation by Britain of what they considered Ashanti territory.
Another but minor cause of the war was the holding in captivity by the The war Ashanti of four Europeans.
An Ashanti force invaded Krepi, a territory beyond the Volta, and in June 1869 captured Mr Fritz A.
The Ashanti delayed war until their preparations were complete, whilst the Gold Coast officials appear to have thought the risk of hostilities remote.
However, on the 22nd of January 1873 an Ashanti force crossed the Prah and invaded the British protectorate.
On landing (October 2) at Cape Coast, Wolseley found the Ashanti, who had been decimated by smallpox and fever, preparing to return home.
He determined, however, to march to Kumasi, whilst Captain (afterwards Sir) John Glover, R.N., administrator of Lagos, was with a force of native levies to co-operate from the east and take the Ashanti in rear.
The Ashanti army re-entered Kumasi on the 22nd of December.
As the 42nd Highlanders pushed forward to Kumasi, the town was found full of Ashanti soldiers, but not a shot was fired at the invaders.
In the meantime Captain Glover's force had crossed the Prah on the 15th of January, and the Ashanti opposition weakening after the capture of Kumasi, Glover was able to push forward.
On the 12th Glover and his force of natives entered the Ashanti capital.
On the 9th of February a messenger from Kofi Karikari overtook Sir Garnet, who on the 13th at Fomana received the Ashanti envoys.
One result of the war of 1873-74 was that several states dependent on Ashanti declared themselves independent, and sought British protection.
This was refused, and the A British inaction of the colonial office contributed to the reconsolidation of the Ashanti power.
However in 1893 there was fresh trouble between Ashanti and the tribes of the protectorate, and the roads were closed to traders by Prempeh's orders.
The tribes involved were the Kumasi, Adansi and Kokofu; the other tribes of the Ashanti confederation remained loyal.
Hodgson, in a public palaver at Kumasi, announced that the Ashanti chiefs would have to pay the British government 4000 oz.
Morris arrived from the British territory north of Ashanti, also with 250 men.
In addition there were Ashanti levies.
By an order in council, dated the 26th of September 1901, Ashanti was formally annexed to the British dominions, and given a separate administration under the control of Progress the governor of the Gold Coast.
The order in council mentioned, which may be described as the first constitution granted Ashanti by its British owners, provides that the governor, in issuing ordinances respecting the administration of justice, the raising of revenue, or any other matter, shall respect any native laws by which the civil relations of any chiefs, tribes or populations are regulated, "except so far as they may be incompatible with British sovereignty or clearly injurious to the welfare of the natives themselves."
C. Fuller, who succeeded Sir Donald Stewart as chief commissioner early in 1905, was able to report in the following year that among the Ashanti suspicion of the "white man's" ulterior motives was speedily losing ground.
E of public humiliation, the king and the queen mother p g q in Ashanti and Jaman, by R.
"West Africa," by C. P. Lucas (Oxford, 1900); and the Annual Reports, Ashanti, issued from 1906 onward by the Colonial Office, London.
To end), by Sir James Willcocks,(London, 1904); The Ashanti Campaign of 1900, by Capt.
In the north are the large native towns of Yendi and Sansane Mangu, both on caravan routes between Ashanti and the Niger countries.
The Ashanti are divided into a large number of tribes, of whom a dozen may be distinguished, namely, the Bekwai, Adansi, Juabin, Kokofu, Kumasi, Mampon, Nsuta, Nkwanta, Dadiassi, Daniassi, Ofinsu and Adjisu.