This blog covers the years 2014-2016 when we (the Robisons) were at the Ghana MTC. To see the blog covering the period 2016-2018 click on this link:

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

What is the tradition surrounding the passing of a Paramount Chief?

According to African tradition, the late Paramount Chief of Kwahu Traditional Council, Daasebre Akuamoa Boateng II  began the journey to his ancestors Sunday at Kwahu Abene in the Eastern region of Ghana. The one week long funeral rites began on December 7, 2014  and unveiled the custom and tradition of Kwahu land and its traditional area.

Daasebre Akuamoa Boateng II

President Robison (Ghana MTC President), Brother Mark Mocke of the South African MTC, and Lane Steinegal (International MTC Director)  made the four hour trek to learn more about this part of African culture.

The late Kwahu king Dasebre Aduamoah Boateng II  was one of the highest ranking paramount chiefs in Ghana. People from across the world came to pay their respects. There was gun shooting before the noise making and sorrowful songs were sung.   Boateng ruled for 42 years in the Kwahu Traditional Council and died at the age of 80 on September 7, 2013.  He has lain in state since that time.

The tradition of chiefs exists today in many parts of West Africa.  The largest ethnic group in Ghana (11.5 million) is the Akan and they speak Twi–Fante.  Their heirarchy exists along side of the democratic structure in Ghana.  The highest rank is that of a Paramount Chief, of which one was Dasebre Aduamoah Boateng II.  There are 14 such men in Ghana.

Underneath the Paramount chiefs, there are chiefs and subchiefs. A subchief can be compared to the mayor of a town, except for the fact that his office is hereditary as opposed to elective. The chiefs have their own territories, and apart from overseeing them, they have a function at the courts of their paramount chiefs as their ministers.

The following photos highlight the visit:

 Dressed in traditional red and black, the mourners come to pay tribute to their fallen chief.
 The main gathering area is surround with tents in a large square.
 Those who come to pay their respects form a line and shake hands with the dignitaries.
 As you will note, the men are seated in a different section of dignitaries than the men
 Of particular note is the new chief who sits comfortably in the middle of the reception line.
 As the visitors enter the square they are startled by the sound of guns or firecrackers being set off every few minutes or less.
 Brother Mocke joined in the celebration and showed how they dance in South Africa.
Voodoo dancers wearing grass skirts come to the celebration as well.  They are not Christians, but are part of the tradition.

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