King of Asante
Asantehene ma Asanteman
Osei Tutu II
since 26 April 1999
StyleHis – Your Majesty
First monarchOsei Tutu Opemsoo
1701 to 1717
Formationc. 1670; 353–354 years ago
ResidenceManhyia Royal Palace
WebsiteThe Asante Monarchy

The Asantehene is the title for the monarch of the historical Ashanti Empire as well as the ceremonial ruler of the Ashanti people today. The Ashanti royal house traces its line to the Oyoko (an Abusua, or "clan") Abohyen Dynasty of Nana Twum and the Bretuo Dynasty of Osei Tutu Opemsoo, who formed the Empire of Ashanti in 1701 and was crowned Asantehene (King of all Asante).[1] Osei Tutu held the throne until his death in battle in 1717, and was the sixth king in Ashanti royal history.[2]

The Asantehene is the ruler of the Ashanti people. The Asantehene is traditionally enthroned on a golden stool known as the Sika 'dwa, and the office is sometimes referred to by this name.[3] The Asantehene is also the titular ruler of Kumasi, which served as the capital of the Ashanti Empire and today, the Ashanti Region. The Ashanti Empire comprised parts of present-day southern Ghana and portions of present-day eastern Côte d'Ivoire between the 17th and 20th centuries.[3][4]

The current Asantehene is Otumfuo Nana Osei Tutu II, born Nana Kwaku Dua, who ascended as the 16th Asante king in April 1999. Osei Tutu II was one of seven descendants who were eligible to the heir presumptive.[5]

Elections and regents

During the period between the death of an Asantehene and the election of a successor, the Mamponghene, the Asantehene's deputy, acts as a regent.[1] This policy was only changed during a time of civil war in the late 19th century, when the Kwasafomanhyiamu or governing council itself ruled as regent.[1] The succession is decided by a series of councils of Asante nobles and other royal family members.[1]

The colonial era and Asante independence

Map of Ashantiland (1st left) and the Kingdom of Ashanti (2nd left) and Ashanti Region (2nd right) with its administrative districts (1st right)

The Ashanti Confederacy was made a British protectorate in 1902, and the office of Asantehene was discontinued. In 1926, the British permitted the repatriation of Prempeh I – whom they had exiled to the Seychelles in 1896[6][7] – and allowed him to adopt the title Kumasehene, but not Asantehene. However, in 1935, the British finally granted the Ashanti moderated self-rule as the Kingdom of Ashanti, and the title of Asantehene was revived.[8]

On 6 March 1957, the Kingdom of Ashanti and the Northern Territories, the Gold Coast Crown Colony and the British Mandate of Togoland to form the modern state of Ghana. The office of Asantehene is now a sub-national constitutional monarchy, and is protected by the Ghanaian constitution.[further explanation needed]

List of rulers

All rulers in the lists below were members of the Oyoko Abohyen Dynasty.

Kwaamanhene of the Kwaaman State

Name Reign
Nana Twum c.1570-1590
Nana Antwi 1590-1600
Nana Kobia Amamfi 1600–1630
Nana Oti Akenten 1630-1640

Kumasehene of the Kumaseman State

Name Reign Notes
Nana Obiri Yeboah about 1640–c.1680
Otumfuo Nana Osei Tutu Opemsoo about c.1680/c.1695–1701 (definitely Kumasehene by 1695) Founder of Asanteman. Reign continues as Asantehene.

Asantehene of the Kingdom of Ashanti (Ashanti Empire)

All regents were members of the Bretuo Dynasty who were and still are the holders of the title Mamponghene.

Upon the death of the Asantehene, it is the task of the Mamponghene to act as the regent, or Awisiahene.[9]

Name Reign Notes
Otumfuo Nana Osei Tutu I 1701–c.1717
Regent c.1717 to 1720 Amaniampon, the mamponghene
Otumfuo Nana Opoku Ware Katakyie 1720–1750
Otumfuo Nana Kusi Oboadum 1750–1764 Forced to abdicate.
Regent 1764 Safo Kantanka, the mamponghene
Otumfuo Nana Osei Kwadwo Okoawia 1764–1777
Regent 1777 Atakora Kwame, the mamponghene
Osei Kwame Panyin 1777–1803
Otumfuo Nana Opoku Fofie December 1803–March 1804
Osei Tutu Kwame Assibey 1804–21 January 1824 Known as Otumfuo Nana Osei Tutu Kwame Asiba Bonsu from 1807.
Otumfuo Nana Osei Yaw Akoto 1824–21 February 1834
Otumfuo Nana Kwaku Dua I 25 August 1834 – 27 April 1867
Otumfuo Nana Kofi Karikari 28 May 1867 – 26 October 1874 Forced to abdicate.
Regent 1874 Kwabena Dwomo, the mamponghene
Otumfuo Nana Mensa Bonsu 1874–8 March 1883 Forced to abdicate.
Otumfuo Nana Kwaku Dua II' 28 April 1884 – 11 June 1884 Died after short illness.
Asante Civil War 1883-1888
Interim Council 1884-1887. Chairman Owusu Kofi 11 June 1884 to November 1884. Chairman Akyampon Panyin November 1884 to 1887.
Regent 1887 to 26 March 1888 Owusu Sekyere II, the mamponghene
Otumfuo Nana Prempeh I 26 March 1888 – 19 November 1895 Original throne name was Kwaku Dua III Asamu. Destooled in November 1885, Surrendered to the British Gold Coast governor on 20 January 1896. Exiled to Sierra Leone and Seychelles 1900. Released 12 September 1924. Restored as Kumasihene 12 November 1926.
Otumfuo Nana Osei Tutu Agyeman Prempeh II 22 June 1931 – 27 May 1970 Enstooled as Kumasihene from 22 June - 31 January 1935, after which he was installed as asantehene Under the British government until 27 May 1970. King Asantehene Prempeh II of Asanteman
Otumfuo Nana Opoku Ware II 6 July 1970 – 26 February 1999 Ruled as Ashanti King or Asantehene King Asantehene Opoku Ware II of Asanteman
Regent 26 February 1999 to 26 April 1999 Osei Bonsu II, the mamponghene
Otumfuo Nana Osei Tutu II 26 April 1999–present current Asantehene King Asantehene Osei Tutu II of Asanteman

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Shillington, History of Africa, p. 195.
  2. ^ Collins and Burns (2007), p. 140.
  3. ^ a b Asante empire, Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 9 December 2017.
  4. ^ History of the Asante Empire Archived 13 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Ashanti Australia. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
  5. ^ Kingdom of Asante Kings And Queens Of Asante Archived 30 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine. GhanaToGhana. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
  6. ^ "The Exile of Prempeh in the Seychelles" Archived 23 January 2015 at the Wayback Machine. Kreol International Magazine. 2012. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
  7. ^ "Asantehene to visit Seychelles", Modern Ghana, 5 July 2007. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
  8. ^ Archived 13 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
  9. ^ Ashanti knowledge. GhanaWeb. Retrieved 12 November 2012.

Further reading