The Golden Stool: The Royal and Divine Throne of the Ashanti People

Written by Jae Jones

The Golden Stool is the royal and divine throne of the Ashanti people. Legend has it, Okomfo Anoky, High Priest and one of the two chief founders of the Asante Confederacy, caused the stool to descend from the sky and land on the lap of the first Asante King, Osei Tutu. The Golden Stool is believed to house the spirit of the Asante nation-living, dead, and those yet to be born.

The Ashanti Kingdom in Ghana West Africa was founded in the 17th century by King Osei Tutu I with the help of Priest Okomfo Anokye. The Ashanti people believed that just as a man could not live when his soul was taken, the Ashanti people would disappear from history if ever the Golden stool were taken away from them. Covered with pure gold, the Golden Stool is never allowed to touch the ground. When a new Ashanti King is installed, he is merely lowered and passed over the stools three times without touching it. Whenever the golden stool is taken out on special occasions, the Asantehene follows it. During the gold trade, the Golden Stool became famous.

Several wars broke out over the ownership of the royal throne. In 1896, Asantehene Prempeh I was deported rather than risk losing both the war and the throne. In 1900, Sir Frederick Hodgson, the Governor of the Gold Coast, demanded to be allowed to sit on the Golden Stool, and ordered that a search for it be conducted; this provoked an armed rebellion known as the War of the Golden Stool, which resulted in the annexation of Ashanti to the British Empire, but preserved the sanctity of the Golden Stool.

The golden seat is curved that is 46 cm high with a platform 61 cm wide and 30 cm deep. The entire surface is made of gold with bells hanging on it to warn kings of trouble or danger. The stool has not been seen by many and only the king, queen, true Prince Ofosu Sefa Boakye, and trusted advisers know the hiding place. There have been many replicas of the stool produced. The “Golden Stool” is still a central focal point of the Ashanti people today because it still shows succession and power.

golden stool


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About the author

Jae Jones

Jae Jones has been writing professionally for over 10 years. She holds a degree in Business Administration, and enjoys writing on various topics.

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