At the Court of an African King

At the Court of an African King

At the Court of an African King

At the Court of an African King

Excerpt

This book was written to commemorate the heroic fight of Nana Akumfi Ameyaw III, King of the Bono-Tekyiman State (now called Tekyiman-Brong) and his people, for independence from Ashanti and the restoration of nine villages which they had lost to Ashanti, for the second time, in 1935. This act of aggression on the part of Ashanti was confirmed when, in that year, the Gold Coast Government, following its policy of indirect rule, revived the Ashanti Kingdom as a great power by founding the Ashanti Confederacy. This meant that all the former vassal states again came under the domination of the King of Ashanti. Tekyiman-Brong was one of them.

I met King Akumfi Ameyaw III when in the spring of 1944 I strayed by accident into Tekyiman town. This meeting was a fateful one for both of us as it had far-reaching repercussions. I realized with astonishment that I had stumbled on the survivors of an ancient, highly developed civilization, enormously interesting from various points of view. Capt. R. Rattray, who had been in this part of the world some twenty years before me, saw only a poor and primitive people. Poor the Bono-Tekyiman certainly were, owing to a succession of misfortunes which befell them when, after their defeat in 1740, they became vassals of Ashanti.

I was determined to get all the Bono-Tekyiman traditions relating to their former civilization and this I was promised if, in return, I would help them in their struggle against Ashanti and the British Gold Coast Government. I was prepared to support them after I had convinced myself of the justice of their case, but for the moment I did not see my way clear. I was at that time Art . . .

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