Kwame - Life before capture
Like many others I was a goldsmith in our town, Kumasi, making jewellery and statues and other decorations. I learnt the skill from my father and he from his. We made many beautiful pieces - they made us wealthy. Our best customer was the Asantehene (although I did not agree with his taste!).
Read about life before capture for Okechukwu, Oyeladun and Kofi.
Gold Pectoral Disc
This is a gold pectoral disc. They hung from cords around the necks of young men who served the Asantehene. These servants were known as 'souls' and walked in front of the chief on ceremonial occasions to ward off evil. The discs are often known as soul-washers' badges.
The Asante mined, sculpted and sold gold. They used scales, weights and spoons for measuring gold and gold dust. The dust was stored in kuduos; boxes usually made from brass.
Kumasi is the capital of the Asante nation. It lies 120 miles from the sea, half way between the north-going trade routes and the white traders on the coast.
The Asantehene was the chief of the Asante people. He ruled a semi-military government, with chiefs throughout his kingdom who acted on his behalf. Ghana still has an Asantehene but it is a mainly symbolic role.