Kumasi yesterday witnessed a rare piece of Asante cultural heritage with the celebration of Kuntunkunidae marking the 15th anniversary of the reign of His Majesty Otumfuo Osei Tutu11, Asantehene. It was the second Kuntunkunidae celebrated during the 15-year reign


In contrast to the splash of colour and uplifting kente designs reflecting the joyous mood of a normal Akwasidae, Manhyia Dwabrem was a scene of rich black clothes normally worn at funerals. This is because Kuntunkunidae remembers and honours the heroes and martyrs of Asante history, reminding the present generation of the sacrifices made by their forebears in building and sustaining the unity and prosperity of the great Asante kingdom.


For the first time, Nananom Amanhene (paramount chiefs from the 53 states of Asanteman) and all qualified Abrempong were authorised to ride in their palanquins to Dwabrem. As early as 6am Manhyia was reverberating with the sounds of drums announcing the arrival of chiefs and their entourage. 


By noon, all the chiefs had taken their seats, shielded from the blazing sun by their mighty umbrellas to await the arrival of the King.


The King's Procession was greeted with great enthusiasm as it meandered through the packed field with the drums beating and the horn-blowers heralding his arrival.  Clutching a seventh-century gun believed to have been used by one of his predecessors in battle, King Osei Tutu greeted his people from his palanquin, every movement of his conveying a message that Asanteman remains as united today as it did three centuries past.


In accordance with tradition, the King had to be seated before the Akyempemhene and Juabenhene were summoned to enter. Akyempenhene, Oheneba Adusei Poku is the head of the Princes and Princesses of the Golden Stool and as Kyidomhene, he traditionally watches the rear of the King. Juabenhene is accorded that deference as representing the Royal Oyoko family.


When all the chiefs and dignitaries had settled, Barima Osei Tutu, Abusupanin of the Oyoko Royal family led a long line of royals, followed by the Queen Mothers court, and Lady Julia, wife of the King, to pay homage. 


The chiefs of the Kumasi Traditional Area, from Akwamu, Kronti, Ankobea, Manwere were the first to pay homage before Nananom Amanhene from the 53 states offered their homage to their King.


To climax the celebration, former President J A Kufuor led official dignitaries to pay homage. Both the outgoing and incoming Regional Ministers for Ashanti, Mr. Eric Poku and Mr. J. A. Sarpong, the Mayor of Kumasi Hon. Kojo Bonsu and a number of Members of Parliament followed to round off the spectacular cultural event.


Source: Manhyia Palace  Posted: 31 Mar 2014
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