The Asantehene, - traditional ruler of Ghana's two million Ashantis-was buried in the Royal Mausoleum at Bantama (near Kumasi yesterday (Thursday).
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SV Afrifa, Busio and other V.L.P.s being welcomed
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Background: The Asantehene, - traditional ruler of Ghana's two million Ashantis-was buried in the Royal Mausoleum at Bantama (near Kumasi yesterday (Thursday).
The burial was preceded by a week of elaborate ceremonial, during which 50,000 Ashantis converged on Kumasi to pay tribute to their late king, and the country's leaders attended the solemn lying-in-state.
The Asantehene, Otumfuo Sir Osei Agyeman Prempeh the Second, died last Wednesday, aged 78. He was the principal of all the paramount chiefs of Ghana, and last year became the first President of the new National House of Chiefs. He occupied the Golden Stool of the Ashantis for 35 years.
His body was brought to Kumasi to lie in state in Manyia Palace, on a simple wooden bed adorned with gold ornaments. Outside the palace, his subjects, in black and red mourning robes, danced and sang funeral dirges amid the deafening sound of drums and muskets fired into the air.
Among the thousands who filed past the Asantehene's body were Prime Minister Kofi Busia Brigadier Akwasi Afrifa, Chairman of the Presidential Commission and other government ministers and parliamentarians. Paramount chiefs and elders arrived from all over the country. Messages of condolence came from all over the Commonwealth and from the U.S. Government.
The Asantehene was given a state burial at St. Cyrpian's Anglican Cathedral in Kumasi. Four bishops and the Chairman of the Methodist Church in Ghana officiated. The Anglican Bishop of Kumasi paid tribute to the Asantehene as a notable contributor to the progress of the Anglican Church among the Ashantis.