History: Asantehene holds the head of the Asante kingdom whiles the Mamponghene holds the feet

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Tradition has it that, the Asantehene holds the head of the Asante kingdom whiles the Mamponghene holds the feet.

During the reign of Denkyirahene Ntim Gyakari, he was overlord of other Akan states who then later united to formsante. The Denkyirahene harassed those subject states under his rule, as a result, they resented his tyrannous rule and ultimately formed a plot for his overthrow. The celebrated Okomfo Anokye assured these malcontents that they could conquer Denkyirahene Ntim Gyakari if they would all amalgamate and put a united front in the battle against their overload. Accordingly, these states became one compact body and it was during a consultation with Okomfo Anokye about the war when assured them that they would be victorious provided some men would give themselves sacrifices. One such man was Mamponghene Nana Boahen Anantuo(1690-1697). Nana Boahen Anantuo suceeded Nana Amaniampong(1676-1690).

He became the Asante war General during the Asante Denkyira war. It was this position of war General which he offered himself to hold instead of Asantehene Osei Tutu I(1680-1717) that earned Mampong state the silver stool. He received bullet wounds during the war and died seven(7) days later after Asante had conquered Denkyira as prophesied by Prophet Okomfo Anokye.

It is said that during the Asante Denkyira War Denkyirahene Ntim Gyakari was defeated and decapitated at the Battle of Feyiase in 1701, his head was kept in Kumasi signifying that the Asantehene was the head of the Asante Kingdom. The legs were kept by the Mamponghene at Mampong.

So in case of any political statement affecting the Kingdom as a whole, the Asantehene cannot exercise his veto in the absence of the Mamponghene. Thus tradition has it that the head cannot walk without the legs.

Mamponghene acts as Asantehene in the absence of Otumfuo Asantehene from Asanteman or the passing of an Asantehene. While the Asantehene is the President of Asanteman, Mamponghene is also the Vice President of Asanteman and also the head of Nifa fekuo(right wing) of Asanteman.

Mamponghene is also known as the Awisiahene(he who reigns over orphans). During Asante and Akyem Kotoku war, when Asantehene Osei Tutu I lost his life during the war, it was Mamponghene Nana Akuamoah Panin who took up the leadership as War General over the Asante troops and at the same time took over the responsibility as the father of the Asantes whose founder and father had died.

 

By Kofi Frimpong(The Kingdom of Asante)

 

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