20th anniversary of Asantehene kicks off in Kumasi

The 20th anniversary of the enstoolment of the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, began yesterday, with a solemn ritual, dubbed “Atano rites”.

The rites saw the Asantehene slaughtering sheep and sprinkling the blood to seek the protection and blessings of the ancestors.

Started as early as 6am, the rites ended at about 3:30pm.

There were a lot of deities and the Asantehene’s task was to slaughter a sheep for each with their priests and priestesses all dressed in white clothes,chanting alongside.

It was an occasion that brought several traditional priests and priestesses who showcased their spiritual prowess,dancing and chanting to the admiration of the public, including foreigners that trooped to the Manhyia Palace to witness the occasion.

The atmosphere was filled with sweet scents from powder and perfumes that were sprinkled on the traditional priests and priestesses they displayed.

Otumfuo then sat in public at exactly 4:21pm.He was dressed in white cloth with red and blue colours dots and was wearing a hat of many colours.

His paramount and other chiefs as well as royals paid homage to him.

In 1999, His Majesty Otumfuo Osei Tutu II ascended the Golden Stool and was enstooled as the 16th Asantehene in direct succession to Opemsuo Osei Tutu I, the founder of Asanteman, the Kingdom of Asante.

For 20 years on the Golden Stool (SikaDwa Kofi), the Asantehene,Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has every cause to celebrate, a foreign journalist, Mark Zandam, told the Ghanaian Times.

FROM KINGSLEY E.HOPE, KUMASI

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