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Quantum Tours - Ashanti Region

Overview:

The Ashanti Region is the cultural heartbeat of Ghana. Land of the Golden Stool expressed in the language, passage rites, festivals, cuisine and ordinary day-to-day activities.

Visitors can participate in several traditional events such as funerals, naming ceremonies etc. Royal Akwasidae held every six weeks at the Royal Palace of the Ashante King, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.

The scenic and hilly capital city of Kumasi is a vast tropical rainforest belt. Still forest country, dominated by impressive buttress rooted forest giants, alongside large cocoa farms and picturesque hillside settlements.


Lake Bosomtwi 

It is located 31km southeast of Kumasi. A picturesque meteorite Crater Lake surrounded by dozens of virgin fishing and farming villages. The Lake Basin is ideal for mountaineering, diving, swimming and relaxation. 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 boats with palm oars. If you are planning to spend the day at Lake Bosomtwe, be sure to pack a picnic lunch.


Bomfobiri Wildlife Sanctuary

Description:
Among its protected species, Bomfobiri Wildlife Sanctuary takes pride in housing the rare bare headed rock fowl. Bomfobiri is a showcase of a rare tropical landscape.


Digya National Park

The Digya National Park was gazetted in 1971 and covers an area of 3,478 km2 of undulating terrain with sandstone inselbergs. It is situated on the western shores of the Volta Lake. Guinea savanna woodland predominates with gallery forest along the major lines. The Park supports at least six primate species including black and white colobus, elephants and a variety of antelopes. Manatee and clawless otter are also reported to be present in the Park.

Digya is the historical home of two currently extinct large mammals; the black rhinoceros, locally known as the ‘naree’, and the gregarious wildebeest, locally called the gnoo (gnu) the manatee omit pr sea cow is the Park's emblem.


Owabi Forest Reserve and Bird Sanctuary

Description:
Owabi can best be described as a secondary forest surrounding a large water reservoir. It is a tranquil site with a great variety of birdlife and fascinating forest walks. It an ideal place for winter migratory birds and hundreds of Mona Monkeys.


Tourist Sites:

Atiwa Rock formations located in Nsuta, offers a beautiful view of Kumasi

Manhyia Palace & Museum (official residence of the Ashantehene)

Lake Bosomtwe (is located 31km from south-east of Kumasi. A picturesque meteorite crater lake)

Kumasi Zoo

Ghana Armed Forces Museum (exhibits materials that primarily concern the British-Ashanti)

Prempeh II Jubilee Museum

The Tano and Buoyem Sacred Groves features fabulous rock formations. The source of Tano River begins from the grove.


Activities/Events

Adae Kese Festival 

This is a very important, albeit rare celebration of the Ashantis. It is held in a large open space in the capital city of Kumasi. The festival is normally well attended and embraced by the Ashantis from all walks of life.

Basically, the Adae Kese celebrations are magnified forms of Sunday Adae festivals, celebrated every six weeks in accordance with the Akan calendar which is based on a cycle of forty- two days and nine months in a year. Invariably, the last Akwasidae festival is set aside for the celebration of Adae Kese.


Adae Kese is usually held to climax celebrations of specific milestones and achievements of the
Asante kingdom. it was first celebrated to mark the attainment of statehood of a newly celebrated people, in the aftermath of the Ashanti war of independence, otherwise known as the "Battle of Feyiase", which was fought against the Denkyiras between 1697 and 1699. Adae Kese, like other Akwasidae events, serves as the platform for pledging allegiance to the kingdom and to affirm loyalty to the occupant of the Golden Stool which represents the unity and embodiment of all Ashanti.

The event is marked in two phases. There are solemn private observances which are performed at the King's palace chambers by accredited members of the royal family and other functionaries. It includes rituals, aimed at cleansing the spirit of the incumbent King and the presentation of ceremonial sacrificial meal (Esq.) and drinks to ancestral spirits. Their blessing and protection guide the kingdom to prosperity.

The public celebrations take the form of a colourful durbar of chiefs and queen mothers presided over by the Asantehene. It involves the display of cherished regalia and paraphernalia accompanied by traditional drumming and dancing as well as firing of musketry amidst pomp and pageantry.


Papa Festival 

Celebrated on an Akwasidae date, mostly in March in Kumawu, (Sekyere East District), an activity begins with sacrificial rituals on the eve of the actual day. The day starts with a mini durbar of chiefs presided over by the Paramount Chief of Kumawu. Then comes a procession of the chiefs and traditional militia warrior group to 'PAPASO'. This is where the sacrificial cow is slaughtered. Anyone can have a piece of this cow if one can withstand the beatings and heckling that characterises attempts to secure a portion of the meat. This display of valour and endurance is part of the festival.

The Festival reminds the chiefs and people of the Kumawu area of the bravery of their ancestors, especially, Nana Tweneboah Kodua I, who offered himself as ransom in order that the Ashanti’s emerge victorious in the battle of independence fought against the Denkyiras. The festival also seeks to purify the state by driving off evil spirits, which may hinder the search for elephant tusks, which are important paraphernalia of the royalty.


Kente Festival

Celebrated in July/ August in Bonwire, (Ejisu-Juaben District). A colourful assembly of local chiefs and people of Bonwire, where participants adorn themselves with beautifully woven Kente clothes and designs which they have created.

The significance of the Kente festival is to commemorate the origin of the Kente cloth, Bonwire, over 300 years ago. The festival also seeks to assert the influence of the Kente as an exclusive cloth from this part of the world.


Yaa Asantewaa Festival 

It is celebrated in August by the Ejisu, (Ejisu-Juaben District). A durbar of chiefs presided over by the paramount chief of Ejisu Traditional area. People from all walks of life call to pay homage to the memory of Nana Yaa Asantewaa the brave  Ashanti war heroine and those exiled to the Seychelles with her.

In 1900, at the advanced age of 60-plus and defying the mores of a woman's role in her society, Yaa Asantewaa, the queenmother of Edweso (or Ejisu, English spelling) stepped out of the shadows to lead an army of 20,000 men to resist British imperialism in what is now known as the Yaa Asantewaa War.

The central location of the capital, Kumasi, also gave it strategic control of lucrative trade routes, enabling it to grow rich and powerful on the slave trade, as well as in gold mining.


Mmoa Nni Nko Festival 

A colourful durbar of chiefs accompanied by traditional drumming and dancing amid merry making and funfair and firing of musketry. To celebrate the bravery and wisdom of Nana Wiafe Akenten I, who chose a large piece of land instead of jewelry, when the king was rewarding the various divisions after war against the Dormaas of the Brong Ahafo region, which the Ashantis won. It is celebrated in October by the Offinso, (Offinso District).


Nkyidwo Festival Nkyidwo Festival

Celebrated in the last Monday in November/1st Monday in December by the Essumeja, (Bekwai District). The performance of rituals and durbar of traditional leaders at a site. In the Asantemanso forest, known to be the ancestral origin of the Asantes.

The significance of this festival is to mark the emergence of the first seven Asante ancestors from a huge hole in the ground, marking the origin of the Ashantis.