Kumase is Asante and Asante is Kumase. ” This statement describes the importance of Kumase to the Asante Kingdom and for that matter, the importance of Kumase State. The terrain of Kumase city shows the physical site of the towns in Asante: high lying areas like towns on hilly areas of Asante, low lying areas like low lying towns of Asante, flat areas like flat lying towns of Asante and undulating areas like towns of that nature of Asante. For this reason, the wish of every Asante National is to build a house in Kumase. This shows how dear the city is to the heart of every Asante born. In short, ” Kumase is to the Asantes as Jerusalem is to the Isrealites .
The ruling clan of Kumase State is the Oyoko clan and the Paramount Chief of Kumase State is also the King of Asante Kingdom. The stool of Kumase State is the celebrated ” Sikadwa Kofi ” – the Golden Stool of Asante.
Rattray in his book entitled ” ASANTE LAWS AND CONSTITUTION ” when writing the history of Nsuta State wrote that Kokofu, Nsuta and Kumase stools had a common ancestors by name Ekuru who came from Asumegya ‘ Santemanso ‘ . According to Rattray, Ekuru gave birth to two women, namely Yita and Antwiwaa Nyame. The Nsuta people were descendants of Yita while the Kumase and Kokofu people were the descendants of Antwiwaa Nyame. Kokofu history as recorded by Rattray states that Antwiwaa Nyame gave birth to children namely Twum and Antwi , Pinaman Panin , Tentia Kwasi and Oti Akenten. Pinaman Panin gave birth to Atea. Atea gave birth to Gyami , Mmua Brayie and Manu . Manu gave birth to Osei Tutu and Nyarko Kusiamoa . Nyarko Kusiamoa also gave birth to Opoku Ware I. The Oyoko clan which stayed at Kokofu had Pinaman Panin as their first chief and queen- mother, and Gyami as their first male chief.
Twum and Antwi Sons of Antwiwaa Nyame
Oti Akenten Son of Antwiwaa Nyame
Osei Tutu Son of Manu
Opoku Ware Son of Nyarko Kusiamoa
The following are the Chiefs and Kings who have ruled Kumase Oyoko clan from the ancient time to the present:
Nana Twum and Antwi ( They ruled simultaneously )
Nana Kwabia Amamfi
Nana Oti Akenten
Nana Obiri Yeboa
Nana Osei Tutu ( The first Asantehene ) 1680 – 1717
Nana Opoku Ware I 1720 – 1750
Nana Kusi Obodum 1750 – 1764
Nana Osei Kwadwo 1764 – 1777
Nana Osei Kwame Panin 1777 – 1798
Nana Opoku Fofie 1798 – 1799
Nana Osei Kwame Bonsu 1800 – 1823
Nana Osei Yaw Akoto 1824 – 1834
Nana Kwaku Dua I 1834 – 1867
Nana Kofi Kakari 1867 – 1874
Nana Mensa Bonsu 1874 – 1883
Nana Kwaku Dua II 1884 –
Nana Kwaku Dua III ( Alias Agyeman Prempeh I 1888 – 1931
Nana Osei Agyeman Prempeh II 1931 – 1970
Nana Opoku Ware II 1970 – 1999
Nana Osei Tutu II ( The present King ) 1999 –
It must be noted that the first rulers from Nana Twum and Antwi to Obiri Yeboa ruled when Asante Kingdom had not been founded. It was Nana Osei Tutu aided by his adviser and spiritualist, Komfo Anokye who was also the chief of Agona State, who organised the Kumase State into military groups called ” Fekuo ” . Each Fekuo group had the head of the group called ” Fekutire ” . Each of the Fekutire also had the seat of administration of the Fekuo.
The table below shows the Kumase Fekuo groups, the Fekutire or head , their towns and the King who created the Fekuo.
FEKUO FEKUTIRE CAPITAL CREATOR
Kontire Kontihene Bantama Nana Osei Tutu
Akwamu Akwamuhene Ahafo Nana Osei Tutu
Gyase Gyamasehene Asikasu Nana Osei Tutu
Adonten Adontenhene Aduaben Nana Osei Tutu
Nifa Asokore Mamponhene Asokore Mampon Nana Osei Tutu
Benkum Tafohene Tafo Nana Osei Tutu
Kyidom Kyidomhene Akyeremade Nana Osei Tutu
Oyoko Oyokohene Abirem Nana Osei Tutu
Ankobea Ankobeahene Adum Nana Opoku Ware I
Manwere Manwerehene Atwima Heman Nana Kwaku Dua I
Nkosuo Nkosuohene Sepe Temponmu Nana Opoku Ware II
The Fekutire formed as the cabinet of Kumase State who helped the King to rule the state. Each of the towns of Kumase State belongs to one of the Fekuo listed above.Each Fekuo is also subdivided thus:
Apart from serving as the cabinet to the King ,when it comes to the affairs of Kumase State,they also serve as the friends of the Amanhene (paramount chiefs) . Each the Amanhene (paramount chief) has one of the Fekutire who plays host to him when he comes to Kumase. However when it comes to seeking audience with the King , it is the King,s linguist in charge of the particular state,s affairs who goes to book the appointment. When the time is fixed , the linguist concerned leads the Omanhene to the King for discussion. It is important that the King,s linguist is on the known and present at all official appointments of the Paramount Chief or Omanhene and the King. It is only the Omanhene or Paramount Chief of Edweso State who doesn’t book appointment with the King through the King,s linguist but through the Nsumankwaahene ( the chief spiritualist of the King ) . When it comes to private discussions with the King , the Amanhene or Paramount Chiefs book their private appointments and they go to the King without the linguist in charge of the affairs of their states.
Kumase State has more chiefs than any of the Paramount Chiefs or Amanhene. There are chiefs for the numerous towns of the State. There are also many Aberempon in the Kumase State. It is the Asantehene or King of Asante State alone who has the power to create stools to commemorate events, moods , services and deeds of valour. Examples are the following:
( A ) EVENTS :
Nkabom stool – created by Nana Osei Agyeman Prempeh II in 1935 to commemorate the restoration of Asante Confederacy.
( B ) MOOD :
Atipin stool – created by Nana Osei Kwame Panin
( C ) SERVICE :
Sompa stool – created by Nana Opoku Ware II in 1984
( D ) DEED OF VALOUR :
Nkosuo stool – created by Nana Opoku Ware II in 1985
It is after the creation of a stool that the Paramount Chiefs who wish are permitted to create such stools in their states
The head of Kumase State is the Asantehene or the Asante King. He is at the same time head of Asante Kingdom. Because of this unique position of Asantehene as the head of Asante Kingdom, when the Asanteman Council meets, he occupies the chair as Asantehene ( King of Asante) and not as the Paramount Chief of Kumase State, but the Kumase State should not be left without a representative. Therefore some divisional chiefs of Kumase State have been made member of the Asanteman Council as Kumase State representative.
The chiefs are the following:
The Bantamahene who is the Kontihene (war leader 1 ) of Kumase State
The Asafohene who is the Akwamuhene ( war leader 2 ) of Kumase State
The Adontenhene ( the commander of the main flank ) of Kumase State
The Akyempemhene who is the Kyidomhene ( commander of the rear flank ) of Kumase State.
These four divisional chiefs have their stools raised almost to the level of the Paramount Chiefs but they do not exercise authority over the Kumase State as the Paramount Chiefs exercise authority in their individual states. Two of the stools, one created by Nana Opoku Ware I and the other created by Nana Opoku Ware II needs some mentioning and study. Nana Opoku Ware I created the Ananta stool as his personal battalion commanded by himself and this battalion was not under the war chief of Kumase State. The troops forming the battalion were chosen from Kumase State and the other Asante States. The battalion was set up to counteract any coup d’etat which may be planned against the King by the commander of the King,s army. No Paramount Chief has Anantahene except only the Asantehene.
Nana Opoku Ware II also created the Nkosuo stool to meet the development drive of the present era. The King advised all the Paramount Chiefs in his Kingdom to create Nkosuo stools to enhance developments in their various states. The other important stool next to that of Asantehene is the Asantehemmaa stool ( the queen-mother of Asante state). The Queen-Mother of Kumase State is known as Asantehemmaa. Any woman enstooled as queen-mother of any Asante States is presented to the Asantehemmaa for her advice before she gets the necessary recognition from her subjects as a queen-mother of her state.
Source: The Kingdom of Asante