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The Ashanti Region occupies a central spot on the map of Ghana. It is a land of ancient royalty and centuries-old traditions. The capital, Kumasi, was once the nucleus of the Asante Kingdom and was the geographic meeting point of two powerful trading systems Ethe Sudanic Empires across the Sahara to the north, and the Gold Mining Kwaman Forest Region which traded to the south with Europeans on the Coast. Established by King Osei Tutu in 1695, Kumasi was connected by royal roads and paths to all the leading provinces beyond the "Kingdom Of Gold"

Named after the Garden City because of its tree-line streets and public flower gardens, Kumasi has a special attraction for tourists because of its martial history and culture of the gold trade. One can reach Kumasi from Accra and other cities by air, but it is preferable to come by car, bus or rail in order to enjoy the tropical forests and picturesque villages along the way.



The Cultural Centre
The Cultural Centre is located in the heart of the city and offers a variety of special historic and cultural attractions.

Prempeh II Jubilee Museum
This is a museum of Ashanti royalty and history, where you will be brought face-to-face with royal paraphernalia crafted in gold, and mementoes of the wars that created the extensive Ashanti Kingdom, including the "Golden Stool" the "Brass Pan of Independence" which caused the 1697-1699 war between the Ashantis and their Denkyira overlords, famous royal battle garb, and an outstanding collection of historic photographs.

The museum is open from 8am - 5pm Tuesday through Friday and 2pm - 5pm on Monday. Admission fee is charged.

Cultural Crafts Centre
A visit to the Crafts Centre is a special experience. One will see local carvers, brass smiths, Kente weavers, sculptors, basket weavers, 'Adinkra' textile printers, and potters at work and even take lessons in these crafts at the Centre for a modest fee.

For souvenirs, the Gift Shop has a vast selection of leather-work, carvings, handmade Kente and Adinkra cloth, raffia items and artwork to choose from.

This is a weekly cultural spectacle, which includes drumming, dancing, drama, poetry recitals, gospel and choral music. Anokyekrom is a popular weekend diversion for everyone. You are expected to join in the dancing. The hours are 2pm - 7pm, Saturdays only. Admission fee is charged.

Resident Folkloric Troupe
With advance reservation, the Centre's Folkloric Troupe will entertain you with a variety of Ghana music and dance. The troupe also includes a resident fetish priest.

Lessons in drumming, dancing, cloth draping, pottery making, textile weaving, brass-smiting and basket weaving are available. For reservations call 233-051-2825/5558/2421.

Model Ashanti Village
Visit a model Ashanti village complete with an authentic fetish house, "kwankwanua" shade tree, cocoa farm, rural traps and a palm wine bar. The palm wine is least potent from 11am - 2pm.

Other Services
- Drinking Bar and Tea Shop

- Camping facilities

- The Ashanti Library

- Tourist Information Office

- Offices of the National Archives

- Offices of the Museums & Monuments Board (to certify souvenir cultural items to be taken out of Ghana)

Kumasi Zoo
Adjacent to the Cultural Centre is the Kumasi Zoo. The atmosphere is relaxing and there is a good variety of animals, including lions, elephants, primates, reptiles and birds. Admission fee is charged.

Okomfo Anokye Sword Site
Just behind the Okomfo Anokye Hospital, one will find the Okomfo Anokye Sword. It is named after a famous traditional priest who, in the 17th century, was said to have conjured the "Golden Stool" from the sky.

Legend states that as high priest of the Akan kingdoms, he drove his sword into the ground with such force that it has remained there ever since, marking the site of the new imperial city, Kumasi, which unified the Akan kingdoms. The site is revered by all as a sacred shrine.

Kumasi Fort And The Armed Forces Museum
A red brick fortress, opposite the Central Post Office marks the former site of the palace of the Ashanti kings, which was sacked and destroyed in 1896, when Kumasi was burned to the ground.

Shortly thereafter, stones from the palace walls were used to construct Fort George, Ghana’s only inland fort. Today this fort serves as a military museum with exhibits from the Ashanti wars, the two World Wars, the Congo crisis of the early 1960s, and Ghana’s post-independence military history. Exhibits include antique guns of various makes, photographs and paintings, flags and uniforms. The museum is open from 9am to 2pm every day except Sunday. Admission fee is charged.

Kumasi Central Market
Not far from Kumasi Fort, through the bustling commercial centre of Adum, you will find the Central Market. The largest in West Africa, this market is enlivened by the den of traders advertising their wares and the colourful mix of merchandise. You can buy everything and anything through lively bargaining with market women, whose straw hats are a metre wide.

If you are looking for hand-made or machine-made textiles, beads, herbal preparations, food, or cosmetics, then you have come to the right place. The market is open throughout the week from 6am E6pm.

Manhyia Palace
Manhyia Palace, the residence of the Kings of Ashanti since 1924, is also nearby. The palace complex consists of the old palace, the new palace (1970), the King’s courts, the Queen Mother’s Palace, Secretariats and an Institute of Ashanti Studies. It is open throughout the week and can be toured with the permission of the Public Relations Officer.

Once every six weeks, there is “AdaeEfestival at the Palace when the King turns out in all his golden regalia.

Kwame Nkrumah University Of Science & Technology
Visit the University, a beautiful over seven square-mile campus housing over four thousand students of both sexes. Interesting places on campus include the College of Art, the Swimming Pool and the adjoining University Botanical Garden. The Olympic-size Swimming pool opens at 2pm E5pm daily. Admission fee is charged.

Street Side Native Sandals Makers
Along the northern perimeter of the Central Market on the way to Manhyia Palace, you can observe Ashanti Craftsmen producing exquisite and colourful Ashanti native sandals “AhenemaE You are welcome to try some of them on.

Kumasi Magazine
At Suame can be found ‘Kumasi MagazineE a vast area for auto mechanical workshops where Ashanti engineering ingenuity can be found at its best. Here, every conceivable mechanical fault on all makes of vehicles are fixed through perfect improvisation that baffles modern engineers.

Four kilometers north of Kumasi on Mampong Road, Pankronu is the home of pottery. Women turn out exquisite clay pots, earthenware bowls, and water jugs, without resorting to the use of a potter’s wheel. All their wares are fired in traditional kilns. (The village of Afari, 12km on Nkawie Road also has good potters).

Eight kilometres further on Mampong Road is Ahwiaa, where the famous Ashanti stools and “AkuabaEfertility dolls are produced. At the carving sheds, one can observe craftsmen creating impressive carvings from solid barks of wood. These skilful carvers also produce masks, symbolic figures, bone and ivory beads and walking sticks. There are several shops stocked to the brim with carvings, presenting a wide selection of gift items. (Ofoase on Trabuom Road is also noted for carvings).

Proceeding another 10km on the Mampong Road, the visitor will find Ntonso, where the hand-printed “AdinkraEcloth is produced. It is very interesting to see the various stages that go into the production of an Adinkra cloth. These processes include the brewing of dyes from the roots and barks of the “badieEtree, special dyeing procedures, needle embroidery and the actual printing of “Adinkra SymbolsEonto the fabric with Adinkra Stamps. The end result is quite breathtaking.

While generally the Adinkra cloth is used for funerals, the white, yellow, blue and green types may be used for social occasions. You can buy Adinkra cloths from the craftsmen themselves through the same lively bargaining that leaves both buyer and seller satisfied.

Twenty kilometres northeast of Kumasi is Bonwire, the home of Kente, where the colourful, world-famous Kente cloth is woven on traditional Ashanti looms. Bonwire can be reached by bus or taxi from the station in Kumasi near the Manhyia Palace. When you arrive at the village the first thing you will hear are the musical sounds of the looms, complemented by the lusty singing of the craftsmen. Thread spinners, hundreds of colouful shuttles and sturdy looms clutter the homes and spill out onto verandas and open spaces of the village.

Kente comes in two distinct textures: single-weave (light) and double-weave (thick and heavy). Simple, single weave pieces are less expensive. There is a wide range of designs, from simple to very complex.

Kente is worn for ceremonial occasions. The weavers sell their own Kente and there are also several shops which offer a good selection of cloth. All prices are, of course, subject to bargaining.

Look for the world’s single richest gold mine, in the town of Obuasi, 50km southwest of Kumasi. This “level and shaftEmine can be toured on foot. A great deal of the mining activities take place above ground and thus can be easily observed. Underground tours can also be arranged with advance reservation. Contact the Ghana Tourist Board for assistance, Tel 233-051-6243, Public Relations Manager, Ashanti Goldfields Co., Obuasi 233-0582-265/503/405.

Note: Good quality gold can be legally purchased at Diamond House, in Accra.


Owabi Bird Sanctuary
The Owabi Bird Sanctuary is just 15km from Kumasi. It is a Winter home for a variety of migratory birds as well as tropical birds who live there year round.

Lake Bosomtwe
If you are looking for peace and serenity, you will be delighted with Lake Bosomtwe. Believed to have been formed by a falling meteorite, this large, circular lake nestles in a crater 364 feet above sea level, which is surrounded by mountains. One can descend into the crater by road to visit the fishing villages around the Lake and it is also fun just to sit and watch the fisher folk paddling their carved “plankEboats with palm oars. If you are planning to spend the day at Lake Bosomtwe, be sure to pack a picnic lunch.

The Lake is accessible from Abonu and can be reached by taking a bus or taxi from the Asafo Market in Kumasi.

Traditional Shrines
Traditional shrines are the provinces of the fetish priests and priestesses. These places of worship and religious rituals can be found in any of the following villages:

Abirem 12km on Kumasi-Bonwire Road

Ejisu Besease 20km on the Kumasi Accra Road

Kentinkronu near Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology

Patakro 35km on Obuasi Road

During “AdaeEfestivals, there are religious observances at all shrines in Ashanti. You are welcome to visit the shrines but be sure to take along a traditional gift for the priest or priestess. (A bottle of Peppermint Schnapps is the libation preferred by the ancestors).


Adae and Akwasidae
The pomp and pageantry of the Ashanti Kingdom is most vividly brought to life during beautiful “Adae FestivalsEwhich are held at the Palace once every 6 weeks. These are occasions when the King, riding in a palanquin and adorned with all his gold ornaments, comes out to receive the homage of his sub-chiefs and people. It is a spectacular sight to watch the colourful canopies and umbrellas, the skillful drummers, dancers, horn-blowers and praise-singers at these regular festivals, held in honour of the ancestral spirits.

Time your visit to coincide with an Akwasidae Festival, (Sunday Adae). You can determine the ‘AkwasidaeEdates by counting 6 weeks down the calendar from 1 Adae. For example, in 1991 the dates were: January 6, February 17, March 31 May 12, June 23, August 4, September 15, October 27, December 8.

Ashantis celebrate funerals on Saturday afternoons. After the burial, there is a large gathering of mourners and sympathizers dressed in the red and black garb of mourning. There is always lively drumming and dancing to “adowE “keteE(the royal dance) and “NwomkroEchorals.

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