Thousands of Ashanti tribesmen crowded into the streets of Kumasi, in Central Ghana, on Tuesday (July 7), to see Nana Mathew Poku installed as their new Asentehene (King) Nana Poku Ware II in a colourful ceremony that goes back to the year 1600.
CU New Asantehene (King) in crowd on way to be installed
SV People watch
CU King seated during ceremony
SV Man holds sword
CU King being installed
CU King holds sword & people shake hand
CU King takes off chain
SV Men holding swords in sheaths
GV King carried thru crowd
CU Man plays drums
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Background: Thousands of Ashanti tribesmen crowded into the streets of Kumasi, in Central Ghana, on Tuesday (July 7), to see Nana Mathew Poku installed as their new Asentehene (King) Nana Poku Ware II in a colourful ceremony that goes back to the year 1600.
The new Asantehene is a 50-year-old former barrister who succeeds his uncle King Sir Osea Agyemen Prempeh II, who died in May after a 35-year reign over the country's two-million Ashantis who live in the rich cocoa-producing valleys of Central Ghana.
The two-hour ceremony began with the swearing-in and the Heads of Clans advising the new King on how to rule - then, after the Chief Linguist announced the installation of the Asantehene, the new ruler raised the sacred Mponponsuo Sword to take the oath of responsibility and pledged to follow the good standards of administration of his predecessors.
Before the ceremony a rainbow had been seen over Kumasi - a symbol of good omen for a long and successful reign according to Ashanti legend - an the Ministers, Chief Executives, Members of the Diplomatic Corps and Ashanti Chiefs joined with the crowds to celebrate the occasion with a procession, music and dancing in the streets.
The second phase of the Coronation will take place on July 27th, when King Nana Poku Ware II will be seated on the revered Golden Stool of the Ashanti.
The new King is married with five children - and has served in Ghana's Diplomatic Service as Ambassador to Italy before his election as the most important tribal leader in the country.