The Golden Stool which is believed to be the soul of Ashantis, made a rare public appearance in five years Sunday. The occasion was the third Akwasidae festival of the year which was held at the forecourt of the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi, the official seat of the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.

The sacred object, according to history, was conjured from the skies by the famous Fetish Priest, Okomfo Anokye, culminating in the birth of the Ashanti Kingdom. Made of gold, the Golden Stool is the most revered entity in the Ashanti Kingdom; it is considered higher and more powerful than the Asantehene, the spiritual leader of the Ashantis.

The Golden Stool’s previous public appearance was in 2004 when Otumfuo Osei Tutu II celebrated his fifth year on the Ashanti throne.

As early as 6:00am on Sunday, curious Kumasi residents who had got wind of the appearance of the Golden Stool besieged the Manhyia Palace, ostensibly to have a glimpse of the sacrosanct object. A stampede nearly occurred when the Golden Stool which dates back over 300 years was finally brought to the durbar grounds around 12:40pm. The stool was carried on the back of a man who was clad in an all-white robe; surrounded by an army of Ashanti royals, amid chants of war songs.

This made it extremely difficult for the gathering to have a proper look at the stool with the over-joyous crowd including women and children competing for space in their hankering. Some of the Ashanti chiefs seated at the colourful durbar were also seen stretching their necks to get a better view of the stool.

Not long after the Golden Stool was ushered in, the Asantehene, carried in a palanquin, majestically stormed the durbar grounds and with his entry, the charged crowd rushed in to have a look at their King. Indeed, the police personnel detailed to provide security and order at the event had a hectic time controlling the charged, jubilant crowd. When Otumfuo Osei Tutu II who was clad in rich kente and gold ornaments finally took his place at the event, a long retinue of dignitaries who graced the occasion filed to pay hommage.

Among them were former President John Agyekum Kufuor and his wife Madam Theresa Kufuor, Mr. Kofi Poku Manu, the Ashanti Regional Minister and Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh, MP for the area. Also present at the durbar were former and present ministers of state, business executives, the clergy and some foreign nationals.

Characterized by the drumming of traditional tunes and firing of musketry, the durbar came to a close after Otumfuo moved round to greet the gathering. The historic event formed part of Otumfuo Osei Tutu’s 10th anniversary on the Golden Stool which would be climaxed with a grand durbar at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi on Sunday. Monarchs and heads of states, notably from the African continent, are expected to storm Kumasi this week to participate in the celebrations.

Source: Daily Guide