Saturday, March 10, 2007.
Komfo Anokye’s Sword
From: KINGSLEY E. HOPE - Kumasi
ARE you wondering where for go as a tourist in the Ashanti Region?
Maybe, you found yourself in the midst of so much gold, history and culture and therefore do not know what to do.
Kumasi is well connected by road systems and the quality and quantity of hospitality institutions are beyond description. They are simply in abundance and prices are far lower than those in the Ghanaian capital, Accra and many parts of the country.
The city was founded by the great king of Asante, Osei Tutu, in 1695 and reveals the distinct cultural and historic backdrop for the festivals and ceremonies that are still important today.
It boasts of the longest open air market in West Africa at Kejetia, and the city is ringed by villages famous for their artisans and handicrafts.
People attending funerals, should know that, they are spectacular events in the region, usually held on Saturdays, amidst displays of drumming, dancing and pageantry often with thousands of people in a traditional red and black cloth.
There are various essential tourist sports in the region, but these attractions may be categorized into three stages – the Natural Environmental Heritage, Historical and Cultural Heritage.
Under natural environmental heritage, Lake Bosumtwi at Abono, 35 kilometres south of Kumasi, comes first, with Bobiri Forest Reserve at Kubease, also 35 kilometres South East of Kumasi, Owabi Bird Sanctuary, 50 kiliometres from Kumasi, Digya National Park, stretching from Kumawu to Atebubu.
Also Atiwa Rock Formations at Nsuta, 40 kilometres from Kumasi, Mfrabuo, caves at Kwaman, 55 kilometres from Kumasi.
Manhyia Palace in Kumasi, the seat of the Asantehene, falls under the historical heritage, the Okomfo Anokye Sword, Kumasi Fort and Museum among others.
The historical heritage comprise kente weaving at Bonwire, 18 kilometres Northeast of Kumasi, Ahwiaa Woodcarving, Adinkra, cloth making at Ntonso, Asuofia and Asamang is the heritage of bead-making and many more.
However, I will briefly dwell on the Okomfo Anokye sword, a very powerful historical monument in the Kumasi metropolis.
The sword is located behind the Okomfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH). The hospital was initially called ‘Gee’, named after the contractor which built it, ‘Gee’ has been the household name though it has been renamed after the great fetish priest Komfo Anokye who lived in the 16th century.
The priest was said to have aided the founder of the Asante Kingdom, Osei Tutu, in all aspects.
Legend has it that the sword was driven into the ground by the priest and predicted that no mortal strength can uproot it and no one has been able to uproot it since the 17th century.
As one of the most important historic landmarks of Ashanti, the Ghana Tourist Board in collaboration with the Asanteman Council and others have erected a structure around it.
WHERE TO GO AS A TOURIST
§ Ashanti Region:
- Manhia Museum – Where Artifacts Ornamental and Historical Relics of Ancestors are kept.
- Ahwiaa – The centre of wood craft in Ghana.
- Bonwire – Centre of Kente weaving
- Lake Bonsumtwi at Abono in Ashanti
§ Brong Ahafo Region:
- You can visit the Kintampo Water falls
- Monkey sanctuary at Bono Manso and
- Boabeng-Fiema where Monkeys and Human Cohabitate.
§ Central Region the centre of slave and trading ports has:
- Slave Forts at Elmina and Cape Coast.
- Kakum Canopy Walk Way at Kakum National Park and
- Slave Routes at Assin Manso.
§ Eastern Region boasts of:
- Boti Falls
- Umbrella Rocks
§ In the Greater Accra tourists can visit:
- La Pleasure Beach
- Nkrumah Museum
- Centre for National Culture (Craft-shop)
§ Northern Region has:
- Slave Defence Wall - Nalerifu
- Labaranga Mosque
- Mole Game Park for Elephants
- Mystery Stone - Labaranga
- Slave Shackles
- Slave Wall - Salaga
§ The Upper East has:
- Crocodile Pond - Paga
- Slave Camp
- Tongo Rocks - Tongo
- Slave Wall - Gwollu.
§ Upper West has:
- Ferguson’s Tomb
- Mushroom Rock
§ Volta Region has the following:
- Ancestral Caves
- Mona Monkey - Tafi Atome Sanctuary
- Wli Falls – Whi
§ Western Region:
- Ankasa Nature Reserve, Ankasa Fort and the village on Stilts - Nzulezu
- Fort Orange, Fort St. Anthony - Axim
THE SPECTATOR - Saturday, March 10, 2007. Page: 19