Asante stools introductin

Asante Stool

The foundation of Asante's state was associated with one of its most important ritual objects, the Golden Stool (sika dwa kofi). According to the famous legend, in 1701 the Asante founder Osei Tutu was sitting under a tree, when out from the thunder and lightning-filled heaven a golden stool floated down to his lap. It was interpreted by his diviner as representing the soul or the spirt of Asante's nation, and became a symbol of the kingdom's unity and vitality. So sacred was the stool that it could never be touch the ground, placed on a European-style chair and elephant mat. Only the king can sit on it in the course of installation and state ceremonies. The death of a leader was spoken of by saying "a stool has fallen". The ancestral spirit of the Akan peoples was believed to reside not in figurative image, but in a specific stool, which ritually blackened with sacrificial offering. Ancestor cults for royal and non-royal Akan were focused on "stool rooms" where these symbols were housed (Cole 1989:79)