A Glimpse Into the Daily Life of the Ashanti People

A Glimpse Into the Daily Life of the Ashanti People


In West Africa during the 17th century, Osei Tutu established an influential empire known as Ashanti. Under his rule, several independent chiefdoms united under his rule and made Kumasi their capital city.

The Ashanti people developed a distinct national culture which can be seen through their arts, architecture and music. Their customs blend traditional beliefs with religious practice for an unforgettable identity.


The Ashanti people possess an ancient cultural legacy which informs their everyday life. Belonging to the Akan ethnic group, they reside primarily in central Ghana near rainforest areas.

Culture for these African peoples encompasses traditional beliefs, historical narratives and handcrafted crafts such as weaving, woodcarving, ceramics and the famous Kente cloth.

Wedding, death and puberty ceremonies are performed. Furthermore, they believe in supernatural beings such as fairies, witches and forest monsters who provide protection and guidance in everyday life.

Therefore, they have an intense devotion to their ancestors and reverence for spiritual and supernatural forces. Furthermore, they believe everything has an inner spirit which they can access via rituals.

Family is of paramount importance to them and they live together in extended family units in homes or huts built around courtyards.

Villagers typically elect a council of elders who serves as an overarching voice in their community, as well as an elected Village Head Council comprised of all heads of household in the village.

Ashanti peoples are matrilineal societies and one of Ghana's largest tribes with an estimated population of 1.5 million people.

They are very social and economically active people, trading with neighbors as well as exporting kola nuts, salt and fabrics internationally.

They possess an intricate political system comprised of a monarch, confederacy council and chiefs from each village. Their leader, known as Asantehene, leads an alliance of Akan-speaking people called the Asante Union; his primary responsibility lies with unifying all Asantes across their nation.


Over time and cultures, people have used religious practices and spiritual beliefs to guide their daily lives, leading to religions being created that reflect what's happening here on the ground.

Ashanti peoples believe in one supreme God whom they worship through various lesser deities and spirits of their ancestors as part of their spiritual order.

Beliefs hold an immense impact in Ashanti society. For instance, they believe a child derives their soul from their father's spirit while flesh and blood come from his or her mother's clan.

Religion in their culture centers on their belief in an unseen higher power known as Asantehene who they perceive to exist beyond this earth.

One of the more intriguing features of their religion is that it includes an intricate belief system about death. When someone passes, all family members must participate in their funeral ceremony.

There is also a tradition of three times washing the body of someone who has died, usually by their mother's side of the family using sponge, soap and warm water to conduct this act.

As well as their faith, Ashanti people also practice various customs and rituals that are unique to their culture, such as using a talking drum and giving fertility dolls to women within the village.

Osei Tutu, Asantehene of Ashanti, united independent chiefdoms and established the first Ashanti empire. His rule was supported by an inner council composed of powerful nobles as advisors and an annual assembly comprising senior chiefs and provincial rulers that collaborated on government matters; such meetings typically occurred during Odwira Festival to discuss matters affecting his kingdom.


Ashanti people are one of the most influential African groups in Ghana and widely recognized as being among the most politically and culturally advanced ethnicities within their homeland.

The Ashanti nation was established during a period of colonialism and conflict between European traders and forest-dwelling Akans from southern Ghana. King Osuo Tutu created an empire around Kumasi - its capital - by consolidating power through governance systems, military forces, religious ceremonies, and cultural practices. He created an identity of his people unified under one national identity through military force as well as religious practices to further centralise power within an imperial framework.

Osuo Tutu employed gold dust as the circulating currency of his empire and encouraged its citizens to use this material for decoration purposes. He also farmed plants such as plantain, cassava, yams, and cocoyams - as well as cultivating agricultural products like these.

In the late 1700s, Ashanti was one of Africa's major gold-producing states, expanding from southern Ghana's forests into an empire which successfully resisted British penetration during the early 19th century.

At this time, Ashanti people participated in the slave trade by trading captives for gold and other European goods. Furthermore, five Anglo-Ashanti wars occurred between 1824 and 1900 involving them as participants.

Though Ashanti people were initially successful at resisting British penetration, they eventually succumbed to its influence and were gradually integrated into British rule, eventually giving up most of their territory by early 19th century.

Ashanti society is organized around extended family units. Each household is led by a father or housefather chosen by elders and respected by all members. These household heads make decisions which affect all family members equally, making him/her one of the most sought-after members of their tribe.


The Ashanti economy is integral to their daily life. They rely on various industries like agriculture, oil palm farming and mining. Ashanti products exported include timba wood and cocoa beans which provide steady income to this community.

At its foundation, Ashanti's economy was founded upon gold trading between Mande and Hausa caravans along the Niger River and European traders along the coast. Slavery also formed part of this early economy as Akan groups would purchase slaves at coastal slave forts before selling or capturing others for sale.

At the turn of the 17th and 18th centuries, Ashanti people established an independent state centered around Kumasi. Over time, however, their small kingdom flourished into a powerful empire under King Osei Tutu of Kumasi.

Ashanti people were traditionally economically driven by gold trade; however, they also invested heavily in oil palm and cocoa production and acquired weapons from Europeans who provided bows and arrows as weapons supplies.

Their political system was organized into four levels of governance, each headed by a chief and an advisory council of elders. Each level oversaw specific regions within the country.

Osei Tutu used his influence to form one powerful state among Ashanti people known as Sika Gua. Here sat the Asantehene who became supreme ruler.

The Asantehene was able to establish an efficient bureaucracy that oversaw every aspect of government from foreign relations and tax collection to professionalizing his bureaucracy and shifting advancement from lineage-based advancement to merit-based advancement in government. His successors further professionalized it.


Education is an integral component of daily life among the Ashanti people, providing them with identity and status within society while also determining their share of family wealth.

Children within the Ashanti system of education were expected to complete basic schooling; further education could then take the form of apprenticeship with an experienced bureaucrat, craftsperson, artist, linguist or military leader.

Education can often determine a child's chances of reaching adulthood in Africa. Children living in poverty tend to lag behind, never developing the necessary skills that will allow them to thrive and move ahead of the pack.

Women's education helps ensure a diverse and educated workforce for any country, which helps ensure its resources are utilized most efficiently.

Skilled workers that can work independently are also essential to any nation. Without such talent, its economy will stagnate while workers lack the skills necessary to enter new jobs or make more money.

Women, particularly single mothers who must look after young children alone, benefit greatly from having access to better education as it allows them to provide their children with healthier and safer childhood environments, essential for their long-term wellbeing.

Education is crucial to Ashanti society's social and moral development. Education gives individuals more chances at life while equipping them to lead in their communities more effectively. Furthermore, it strengthens families while giving people pride of achievement and pride of achievement.

Related Articles