19th CENTURY ASHANTI / ASANTE CARVED FIGURE WITH ORIGINAL GLASS TRADE BEADS
19th Century Ashanti / Asante figure of Okomfu Anokye ornamented with early powder glass trade beads.
This is a lovely, large 19th Century Ashanti carved wooden figure. It has developed a great patina that has been built up over many years. The figure is also decorated with early powder glass trade beads of the Ashanti style which also gives an indication of the age of this piece. This is a large figure measuring 50cm tall.
The figure represented is Okomfu Anokye who is a pivotal figure in the history of Ghana and the Ashanti people (see account below). The figure is shown seated on a carved seat and holding a sword, both of which represent symbols of the Ashanti.
Anokye was raised in Akwapim, which was a noted centre of fetish activity. He became a fetish priest, taking the title Okomfo (usually rendered in English as “priest”). He met Osei Tutu, and the two became close friends and eventually established the legal, political, and philosophical foundation of the Asante empire. Okomfo Anokye, is accredited to be the man who conjured from the skies, the much revered Golden stool which is supposed to contain the soul of the Asante nation. Historical accounts have it that Okomfo Anokye pushed a sword into the ground which marks the spot where the Golden stool initially descended from the sky and legend has it that the Asante kingdom would collapse should it ever be pulled out of the ground. Numerous people over the years have tried to uproot the sword but all in vain.
This is a rare opportunity to purchase a genuine antique tribal carved figure and especially interesting as it represents such an important person in the history of the Ashanti people.