Historic Images Of Ghana Warriors Kings & Chiefs From The 19th & 20th Century

by Nana Tamakloe
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There is a strong history behind the chiefs and kings of Ghana prior to colonization. Some of which were rulers of empires and some of which were chiefs and pointmen of local towns and villages.

The pictures below depict real life Chiefs, Kings, Soul Washers and others from the 19th and 20th Century. Some with amazing historical notes to it.

Kwaku Duah II

19th 20th century pictures of kings in ghana (1)
Kwaku Duah (II) Kuma Asantehene or Bantamahene circa 1880-1889. Kwaku Dua II reigned for about 2 weeks in 1884 before dying. He was installed during the Asante Civil War (1883-1888). The country was run by two councils until 1888.
Kwaku Duah (II) Kuma Asantehene or Bantamahene circa 1880-1889. Kwaku Dua II reigned for about 2 weeks in 1884 before dying. He was installed during the Asante Civil War (1883-1888). The country was run by two councils until in 1888 the 16 year old Kwaku Dua III Asamu was installed as Asantehene. He changed his throne name to Prempeh I. The man in this portrait is not a teenager and he is not seated next to the Golden Stool which has a round not rectangular base. Also the Golden Stool’s upper portion is not rectangular either.

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Nana Agyeman Prempeh I

19th 20th century pictures of kings in ghana (2)
Nana Agyeman Prempeh I 1896, Kumasi

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Asantehene Agyemang Prempeh I

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reinstatement of Asantehene Agyemang Prempeh I in Kumasi 1924
Asantehene Agyeman Prempeh I, two years after returning from 28 years of ‘exile’, at a ceremony to “enthrone” him as the ‘Kumasehene’ (a title the British created) rather than the Asantehene which he never stop being to the Asante people in actuality.

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Asantehene Nana Osei Tutu Agyeman Prempeh II

19th 20th century pictures of kings in ghana (4)
Asantehene Nana Osei Tutu Agyeman Prempeh II Holding Switch and Sitting in State next to the Golden Stool

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King Prempeh II of Asante

19th 20th century pictures of kings in ghana (5)
King Prempeh II of Asante, resplendent is kente and gold, poses with the English Governor, who is wearing a British tribal warrior costume, at the “reinstatement” of the Asante Confederacy in Kumasi

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ex King Mensah with his mother

19th 20th century pictures of kings in ghana (6)
ex King Mensah with his mother Afua Kobi I c. 1888-1908
Former Asantehene Mensa Bonsu reigned from 1874 to 8 March 1883 before he was forced to abdicate. Shortly after Asanteman descended into a 5 year civil war with the 16 year old Kwaku Dua III Asamu/ Agyeman Prempeh I emerging as the new king on 26 March 1888

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Akufo, Akroponghene

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“Akufo, Akroponghene (King of Akropong)”, Nana Kwasi Akuffo 1907

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akradwarefo

19th 20th century pictures of kings in ghana (8)
akradwarefo (Soulwasher) for Akufo, Akroponghene (King of Akropong)

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Asantehene, Osei Tutu

19th 20th century pictures of kings in ghana (9)
The ‘Golden Stool’ of Asante with its bells, and behind it the stool-carriers and guards 1935
The Golden Stool of the Asante Kingdom seated upon the Hwedom tea, its throne chair which was created by the first Asantehene, Osei Tutu, in about 1700.

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A chief

19th 20th century pictures of kings in ghana (10)
Gold Coast. A chief (from Tutu) and his 2 wives 1917

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Drummers

19th 20th century pictures of kings in ghana (11)
The Chief of Adukwum during the procession to inaugurate the church in Akropong

19th 20th century pictures of kings in ghana (12)
The entourage of the linguist of the Chief of Akropong during the inauguration of the church in 1938

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Drummers during the procession at the dedication of the church in Akropong

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Drummers

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Drummers during the procession at the dedication of the church in Akropong

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The Chief of Abetifi

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The Chief of Abetifi with his carrying-chair 1888 to 1895

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Kwahu ‘Abetifi

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Kwahu ‘Abetifi Head of the swordbearers of Odow Kwame of Abetifi dark exposure

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Kwahu ‘Abetifi

19th 20th century pictures of kings in ghana (17)
Kwahu ‘Abetifi Head of the swordbearers of Odow Kwame of Abetifi dark exposure

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attendants of chief Abankwa of Obomeng 1888 to 1895

19th 20th century pictures of kings in ghana (18)
attendants of chief Abankwa of Obomeng 1888 to 1895

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traitorous dwabenhene Yaw Sapon at odumase 1888-95

19th 20th century pictures of kings in ghana (19)
traitorous dwabenhene Yaw Sapon at odumase 1888-95
The original caption reads: “Yaw Sapong, King of Dwaben. This young man, King of the Asante town of Dwaben, which is now in ruins, is one of the great chiefs of the Asante King. He lives in Ahyiaem, 17 hours from Kumase. Although he is a subject of the King [of Asante] he would like to place himself under English protection, and asked us for a catechist 18 months ago. For a year now we have had a catechist in Odumase, a place near his captial. The beginnings have been difficult, but we hope now that our Mission is firmly established in this area.”

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Drums belonging to the chief of Begoro c 1888 to 1895

19th 20th century pictures of kings in ghana (20)
Drums belonging to the chief of Begoro c 1888 to 1895

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two goldsmiths in Ashanti c. 1891-1905_Perregaux

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two goldsmiths in Ashanti c. 1891-1905_Perregaux
A goldsmith and his apprentice. They use what looks a broken upside-down pot with a small round hole at the ‘bottom’ as a furnace for smithing the gold.

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Hunter from Aburi 1883 1888

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Hunter from Aburi 1883 1888

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Three Fante women 1895-1910 Elisofon

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Three Fante women 1895-1910 Elisofon
Three Fante women from the early British colonial period with elaborate hairstyles.

The standing woman has a beautiful dress and wrapper of adinkra cloth stamped with swastikas. This symbol is found on Akan (Fante, Asante, Bron, etc) metal workings such as goldweights and as an adinkra symbol as shown here.

This image is from The Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives at the National Museum of African Art

The End

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Source: TalkOfGh.com

Ghana Culture

 


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