Sunday 19 May 2024


The Golden stool itself is a mass of solid gold. It stands about a foot and a half from the ground, and the seat is about two (2) feet long and one (1) foot wide. It is treated as a living being, and is named after the manner of Akan child from the day of the week on which it was born: hence it is known as Sika Dwa Kofi. ‘The Golden stool born on Friday’. It is fed at regular intervals according to Akan calendar, and the cycle of Addae festivals is linked to this. The food prescribed comprises brown sheep, yam and liquor. If it is left angry the stool and the Asante Kingdom it represents, would be considered in danger of dying.

The Golden Stool is believed to have descended from the skies about 1700 through the incarnations of Komfo Anokye. The stool was presented to the people as enshrining the soul of the nation and symbolizing the unity and the authority of the Asantehene. 

The Sika Dwa Kofi is being regarded as a sacred object, the gift of the gods, and has been the source of inspiration for their chivalrous deeds in history. 

Komfo Anokye decreed that it should never be allowed to rest upon the bare ground, but must either on a coarse blanket of camel hair, nsaa, or on skin taken from the back of an elephant which when killed had fallen face downwards (banwoma). Later when Asantehene Osei Tutu I made himself the Hwedom chair, he made similar for the Golden stool, the Hwedom-tea which had a higher seat to that the stool could be seen when brought out at public assemblies. Thus, the resting place of the Golden stool became the Hwedom-tea, which itself stand upon nsaa blanket or banwoma hide.

The are several bells attached to the Golden stool. One of these is made of alloy of brass and copper known as the “donkese”, the great bell, is regarded as having been attached to the stool when it came from the sky. It is said to contain a charm such that, when it is rung, people gather together. The Golden stool itself is still kept in sacred place, but is represented in the stool house by the “donkese” which receives sacrifices intended for the stool. It is aid that, whatever the stool was taken to the battlefield, the “donkese” was strapped to it. 

Two bells were added to the stool by Asantehene Osei Tutu I. They made of brass and are known as the ‘adomire’, the dark bells. These belong to the stool in its role as a black stool: for a black stool is supposed to have two (2) bells which are rung when its caried in procession, to announce its arrival. 

Asantehene Opoku Ware I, added a further four bells to the Golden stool. These were all made of gold. One of these in the form of an ordinary bell, as are the domire and donkese, but others are made in the form of effigies, one of Ntim Gyakari, Denkyirahene who was defeated by Asantehene Osei Tutu I in the Battle of Feyiase in 1701, and other of Ofosu Apenten of Akyem Kotoku and Abo Kwabena of Gyaaman both defeated by Asantehene Opoku Ware I. Yet another bell, the eighth, was added by the Asantehene Osei Kwame Asibe Bonsu, and it’s the effigy of Sir. Charles McCarthy, Governor of Seirra Leone and the Gold Coast known in Asante tradition as Mankata or Akata. Who was beheaded in the battle of Nsamankow in 1824. Until this time stool carriers had the appellation, Tonto nana obo obo adon nson, that is, ‘descendant of Tonto (an early stool carrier) who rings seven bells.

Oral tradition, however, refers to still other bells that were at one time attached to the Golden stool, such as Ofori Panin, Omanhene of Akyem Abuakwa defeated by Asantehene Opoku Ware I and Nana Kofi Adinkra of Gyaman defeated by Asantehene Osei Kwame Asibe Bonsu.

It is said that apart from the bells, Asantehene Osei Tutu I strapped to the Golden stool a pair of copper foot-cuts, danwerefo, to represent the fetters with which Denkyirahene Ntim Gyakari bound himself to his wife as they played the game of ‘ware’ at the time of the Battle of Feyiase. Asantehene Opoku Ware I added another pair, made of gold, because it was said that the original fetters of Ntim Gyakari were of that metal. Osei Tutu I, is said to have decorated the stool with a charm or suman made of golden and other precious beads. To this each successive King of Asante has added their own suman. Komfo Anokye recommended as the carrier of the Golden Stool a certain Kuruboa, a younger brother of Tafohene Osafo Akonto who had been captured during the Tafo War in the earlier reign of Asantehene Osei Tutu I.

The bells made in the form of statuettes of defeated Warriors or kings were not functionally used as bells. They served to commemorate the humiliation of the enemies of Asante and hence were nkoa or servants of the Golden Stool.

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