Wednesday, August 29, 2012

OKOMFO ANOKYE THE GREAT AFRICAN PROPHET AND CO-FOUNDER OF ASHANTI KINGDOM

                        Statue of Okomfo Anokyie at Kumasi

Okomfo Anokye is the greatest and celebrated mystic man in the history of Ghana. He was an Ashanti priest, statesman and lawgiver. He occupies a Merlin-like position in Ashanti history. A co-founder of the Empire of Ashanti in West Africa, he helped establish its constitution, laws, and customs. However, due to his fame his tribal origin as a person is so diverse and complex as the manner he died. Many Ghanaians tribes including the 
Akans (Ashantis), Guans, Nzimas and Ewes all claim that Okomfo Anokye comes from their tribe.

The Nzimas claim that "Okomfo Anokye was born in Benyin,in West Nzema-Ghana West AFrica, now called Jomoro, in the late 1600s. His father was from Benyin and his mother was from Anosuazo, Eastern Nzema. His father was called Kaku Ackah. Anokye was named after his paternal Uncle Egya-Ano. The Nzema called him Ano kyi which means Ano Junior. The Ashanti and Denkyira, who were unable to pronounce his name, called him Anokye. He lived in Anosuazo near Atuabo East Nzema, where he began his priesthood. Anosuazo later became known as Anokyi because of the priests frequent visitors. Okomfo Anokye later helped King Amakyi, Kaku Ackah's Uncle, to defeat the first Europeans who came to the coast of Nzemaland."


The Ewes also have an oral tradition that maintains that Okomfo Anokyie is a mystic/fetish priest from their tribe and that he hails from Notsie in Togo,where the Ewes settled before migration to Gold Coast (Ghana). The Ewes say Okomfo Anokye  left Notsie when the wicked king Agorkoli was persecuting the Ewes.It was believed that Komfo Anokye`s wandering sent him to Ashanti Kingdom and since the Akans could not pronounce the name of his town Notsie very well, they decided to call him "Okomfo Anokye," i.e Okomfo of Notsie.

According to Akuapem (Guan) tradition, Okomfo Anojye was the son of one Ano, a quiet and physically weak father, and Manubea, an energetic, setimental and talkative mother. They were natives of Awukugua, a town in the Nifa (Right) Division of the Akwapem state.....It is said that when Okomfo Anokye was born in Awukugua he was already holding in his right hand a short white tail of a cow (bodua); and he had so firmly clenched the fist of the other hand that no one could open it. The woman who went to deliver the labouring mother tried to open it because she suspected there was something in it. The father was called in to assist, and immediately the fater came in and touched the hand Okomfo Anokye opened his eyes and, staring at the father, quickly opened the mysterious hand, showing it to the father and saying "Ano....Kye" (Guan language) meaning "Ano...see" and gave to the father what was in it. It is alleged that it was a talisman. From this incident Kwame Agyei got his name "Anokye".

...Some other traditions state that when Kwame Agyei was born, he already had teeth and a beard, and was able to speak and walk. It is also said that one night, when Kwame Agyei was still a child, his parents were roused from sleep by the cry of a child...They went out and found that it was Kwame Agyei who was crying and walking aout in the yard. On consulting [a medicine man], they were told that the child "went out to eat". Oracular interpretations further revealed that the child was not an ordinary human being, but a god [i.e. perhaps a nature-spirit entity incarnated into a human body?], who had been born for a special mission, and that if he were not properly taken care of, his mother would die and the people of Awukugua would become poorer. But if they took proper care of him, he Kyerepong people would become great and pwowerful."
         Statue of Okomfo Anokye at Adanse in Ashanti

In Ashanti he was claimed to be the grandson of a man called Amoa Gyata from Bona-Bom, Adanse. Others claim that he was the son of a man called Kyei Birie and a woman called Dwirawira Kwa, an Asenie woman from Adanse-Akrogyere.The real name of Okomfo Anokye was Kwame Agyei; his other names were Firempong Manso. His appellation Kotowbere is known and used mainly in Ashanti: thus he was called Kwame Agyei Firempong Anokye Kotowbere.


Opemsuo Osei Tutu and Brother (Cousin) Okomfo Anokye  

Kwame Frimpon Anotche Kotowbere was the son  of Amea Gyata, who had come forth from a spot in Adanse called the Bona Bom (the Bona rock). Amea Gyata died in Adanse, leaving a daughter, Nana Dufie Gyampontima, and a son, Dampte, who later became a priest. Amea Gyata  belonged to the Asenie clan. This clan later left Adanse and went to 'Santemanso, and later again to Nkuruoso (near Bonwere). Various members of the Asenie  clan founded Stools which afterwards became famous. Thus, Adu founded Aduaben; Akosa Yiadom founded Amakum; Sa Kodie Date founded Agona Akyempim, near the present town of Agona. Anotche was born  at Adanse Akrokyere, and was the second son of  Dwirawiri Kwa (an Asenie woman) and of an Adanse man called Kyei Birie. Dwirawiri Kwa was the [grand]daughter  of Nana Dufie Gyampontima. Adutwumwa had married a man called Twumasi Amponsem, who was a brother of Owusu Panyin, who was the husband of Manu, the mother of Osai [Osei] Tutu. Anotche's elder brother was Yamoa, who also became a priest. He was killed along with Obiri Yeboa in the Domina [Domaa] war. [Komfo Anotche and the great Osai Tutu were thus related, an interesting and hitherto unrecorded fact in Ashanti history]
Ref: Rattray
     Artistic impression of  Okomfo Anokye the chief priest of the Ashanti kingdom incantating as The Golden       Stool Descendes from the Heavens.

                   THE GREAT PROPHET OKOMFO ANOKYE

One thing is certain and irrefutable about Okomfo Anokye. He was a friend of the then Barima Osei Tutu, and both of them lived at Akwamufie, the capital of Akwamu. Osei Tutu, a royal of the Oyoko lineage of Kwaman (now called Kumase) had been sent to the court of Nana Ansa Sasraku, the King of Akwamu to learn statecraft.

Upon the death of his uncle Obiri Yeboa, Osei Tutu was summoned to Kwaman to assume leadership of the Oyoko clan of Kwaman. Legend has it that upon realizing his mistake in allowing Anokye to travel with Osei Tutu, Ansa Sasraku sent his men after the group. With the spiritual support of Okomfo Anokye, Osei Tutu was able to turn away their pursuers. Thus, began the legend of Okomfo Anokye, and the successes he attained together with Osei Tutu.

Upon becoming the chief of Kwaman, Osei Tutu made Okomfo Anokye his chief advisor in all matters. Every military or diplomatic success was attributed to the magical powers of the great Okomfo Anokye. His fame extended far and wide, and the magical things he could do were innumerable. Among other incredible deeds, it was said that Okomfo Anokye fetched water in a basket, and yet the water did not spill! Okomfo Anokye?s house was without a roof, and yet it was sheltered from the rain!! Okomfo Anokye could dissect an ant and expose its intestines!!! (As a child, I recall singing the great deeds of Akomfo Anokye which had been turned into a song!).

As Okomfo Anokye?s fame and influence grew, so did the need to create a powerful kingdom that would unite the Asante, as a prelude to the unification of all the Akan. With the defeat of Denkyira, then the most powerful kingdom, by Asante-speaking forces under Osei Tutu, the idea of a new united kingdom of Asante became a reality. To this end, Okomfo Anokye invited the various independent and fragmented Asante Chiefs to an important meeting one Friday in Kumase, the new name that Okomfo Anokye gave to Kwaman.

The meeting was held at Dwabrem, which was situated at the present site of the Kumase Post Office, in 1701. Okomfo Anokye whose mystical powers and his role in the defeat of Denkyira had made him a recognized and unquestioning authority, told the Chiefs that he was about to command a Stool from Heaven, with the powers given to him by God. He added that the Stool will rest on the lap of one of the assembled Chiefs. He made the Chiefs agree and swear by Oath that the one upon whose lap the Stool from Heaven rested would become the King of the new Union.

It was a Mount Carmel (Bible's Old Testament), type of assembly. Here was Okomfo Anokye, impressing upon the assembled Chiefs and people that the powers he assumed from his God were more potent than whatever gods the individual Chiefs claimed to acquire their symbols of authority from. Lo and behold, the Stool commanded from Heaven landed safely onto the lap of Nana Osei Tutu. The Stool was laden in Gold, it arrived on a Friday; so it was given the splendid name Sika Dwa Kofi, or Friday?s Golden Stool. Every Asante child knows this story, and it is passed on from generation to generation.

Okomfo Anokye decreed that the Sika Dwa represented the collective well-being of all Asante, their unity, and strength; and it must never be defiled or taken away from them. The occupant of the Sika Dwa must be respected as their supreme ruler and authority. By prior agreement, all the Chiefs accepted Nana Osei Tutu Opemsuo I as the occupant of the Sika Dwa, and the first King of the new political union called Asante.
        (The Golden Stool of Ashanti. Believed to have descended from the skies in the seventeenth century through the incantations of Kɔmfo Anɔkye, Chief Priest of the King of Ashanti, Nana Osei Tutu. It was pre...
sented to the people as enshrining the soul of the nation and symbolizing their unity and the authority of the ruler. It has been regarded as a sacred object, the gift of the gods, and has been a source of inspiration to chivalrous deeds.

It is a mass of solid gold. It stands about a foot and half from the ground and the seat is about two feet long and one foot wide. Among the objects strapped to it are cast gold effigies of defeated warriors used as bells, one gold and two brass cast bells, and precious beads, suman. As the Golden Stool must never be allowed to touch the ground, it is placed on its special throne, the Hwɛdɔmtia, which in turn rests on an elephant skin, banwoma.

[Ref: A.A.Y Kyerematen , Panoply of Ghana, 1964])

Okomfo Anokye warned that if the Golden Stool is ever captured, Asante would lose its power and disintegrate into chaos. This explains why in 1900, when the British colonial governor demanded the Golden Stool for the British monarch, Nana Yaa Asantewaa , without any prompting led Asante in a fight against Britain and her allies for two years --The Yaa Asantewaa War? to deny the British their sacrilegious request.
    The current Asantehene, Otumfour Osei Tutu II sitting besides the Golden stool

Okomfo Anokye created lesser Stools for all the other Chiefs. In this manner, no Stool in Asante could claim to have preceded the great Golden Stool. What political mastery and strategy! What political wisdom!! What symbol of unity and nationhood!!!

Just to underscore the historical fact: My own several times great-grandfather Obrempon Nana Firam Gyereba, (Asuonwunhene), was present at that momentous occasion. He was the main gunner or "Tufuo"protecting Otumfuo Osei Tutu I and Sika Dwa at that very moment of the birth of Asante at Dwabrem. He had accompanied Osei Tutu to Denkyira and Akwamu as one of his seven military guards. Okomfo Anokye created a Stool for him that very Friday evening as he did for all seven military guards who had served him in Denkyira and Akwamu. This led to the establishment of the powerful Kumase Ekonti Division, also known as the "Atuo Nson' or the Seven Gunners. The Bantamahene is the head of the Kumase Ekonti Division. According to the historical record, Okomfo Anokye was rewarded with the Stool of Agona by Nana Osei Tutu for services rendered to Asante.

Okomfo Anokye helped in instituting other symbols of authority and unity for Asante such as the annual Odwira festival, at which observance, the Asantehene gave a state of the Union account to all Asante. The Odwira served to rekindle the spirit of belonging among all Asante and a dedication to serve Asante better the coming year.

Okomfo Anokye was also a great Law-Maker and Law-Giver. He is reputed with giving Asante a set of codes known as "the Okomfo Anokye Seventy-Seven Laws.' It covered everything from birth and child rearing; observance of puberty rites; sexual relations; installation of Chiefs; the governing of the nation; to death and burial rites. Even today, in Asante, whenever a grandmother advises that something is a taboo, the grandmother is unwittingly referring to one of Okomfo Anokye`s codes of conduct. Such was the political and legal acumen of the great Akomfo Anokye.

Given his supernatural powers and achievements which are still visible today, and validated by the pomp and pageantry of Asante; as well as the entrepreneurial spirit of Asantefuo; Okomfo Kwame Anokye Frimpon Kotobre could not be expected to die a natural death! Death could not conquer him. Legend has it that the Great Priest left specific instructions to his nephew and eventual successor as Chief of Agona, Kwame Siaw Anim. The instructions were that the Great Priest would be traveling in the spirit world for Seven days, after falling into a deep trance, to search for a cure for Death, after which he would re-enter his human form. During the course of the seven-day waiting period, the nephew, impatient to inherit the Stool and all the wealth accumulate by his uncle Okomfo Anokye; pronounced his uncle dead, and presided over a noisy funeral; as the historian T.C. McCaskie eloquently puts it in his book "State and Society in Pre-colonial Asante."

During the course of the funeral, as related by McCaskie, Okomfo Anokye in his human form appeared at the outskirts of the town. He met a hunter from Gyamase (a nearby town), who upon the Great Priest?s enquiry as to the commotion at Agona answered that a greedy nephew of Okomfo Anokye had disobeyed his uncle`s instructions and had pronounced the Great Priest`s death, hence all the commotion at the funeral in Agona.


Okomfo Anokye revealed himself to the hunter, and gave him a medicine called Nkontwima for the hunter`s own prosperity. Okomfo Anokye also gave the hunter a message that he had found a cure for Death, but to tell the people of Agona and Asante that because of his nephew`s greed, the cure will be withheld from them forever! The lesson in this story is that calamity follows upon wilful disobedience of Okomfo Anokye?s instructions! This explains why in Asante traditional matters, every word and instruction given by the Great Priest are accepted as gospel. Further, claimants to Asante Stools legitimize their claim by appealing to the role of Okomfo Anokye thereof.

After the encounter with the hunter, the great Okomfo Anokye disappeared. Folks, Okomfo Anokye did not die, he simply disappeared, and that is what our history says! To this day, nobody can tell where that Okomfo Kwame Anokye Frimpon Kotobre was buried. Whatever Okomfo Anokye provided to the hunter is today part of the heirloom of the Chief of Gyamase.

The great things that Okomfo Anokye did are still extant for people to see: the Golden Stool, the buried Sword at the present Komfo Anokye Hospital in Kumasi; the palm tree he climbed with his footmarks still evident in the bowels of the tree; the Oware game carved out of a huge slab of stone with his bare fingers, at Awukugua; and numerous others, not least the pomp and pageantry of Asanteman.

Upon reflection, it is sad that of late some of our misguided Ghanaian Christian Pastors and other similarly misguided people, have taken to deriding the achievements and personality of Okomfo Anokye as idolatry and anathema. It is this sad reality due to the colonization of the African mind that concerns me. In every corner of the globe, people respect their tradition and culture in spite of so-called modernity. Other cultures still regard similar feats as the gospel truth. To wit: Moses received Ten Commandments from Heaven and resulted in Judaism; a virgin birth of Jesus resulted in Christianity; Mohamed`s vision led to Islam; think about Buddha and Buddhism; or Hinduism and its prophets; in the United States, Joseph Smith had a vision in the 1820's in New York and that led to the birth of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints or Mormons. Examples are legion. It is only Africans who tend to undermine and disrespect their own culture while hanging on to the truths of received ideas from foreign lands.

I have never heard a white Christian Pastor condemn Julius Caesar or any of the Roman and Greek gods. Rather, the collapsing temples of Greek and Roman,
idolatry, are promoted as national treasures, visited by Popes, Cardinals, Pastors, Christians and countless tourists. I wonder if one cannot be an African Christian, and yet remain respectable of what his ancestors accomplished, just as Europeans seem to have done. Why should some African Christians view Chieftaincy and its regalia as idolatrous, when the white missionaries who converted Africans to Christianity were sent to do that job with the blessings of their Queens and Kings? Okomfo Anokye never met any Christian missionary, black or white. He accomplished his task by his God-given talents. In the least, we must revere him, and in so doing show respect to ourselves and to our customs and to our tradition. (http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/features/artikel.php?ID=93275)
      The Golden stool being carried in public.

THE MIRACLES OF OKOMFO ANOKYE IN AKUAPEM

 1.Anokye could arrange a number of empty dishes one on top of another, and command that all the dishes be filled with fufu (a local Akan dish).
2. Once before a big crowd, Anokye caused a plantain to be cooked; when the plantain was well cooked, he planted it. It immediately germinated, grew, ripened and was harvested.
3. Anokye tied a very long thread between two poles, and walked on it with his wooden sandals ("nkronnua").
4. He could be locked in a room, but would come out while the room was still locked.
5. He would command the rain to stop falling until the celebration of a festival was ended.
6. Anokye would jump over a live snake, and the snake would immediately die.
7. One day at Awukugua, Okomfo Anokye's mother had no meat for food so Anokye told his father that he would give them meat. He asked his mother to prepare palm-nut soup. When the soup was well cooked and the fufu was about to be pounded, Anokye went into a trance, and when he became conscious he ordered his father to go out to the back of the house near the bush; when the father went there he found two big antelopes lying asleep. The father killed them and brought them home.
8. Once at Awukugua, [as a boy], Anokye and his parents went to their farm. A heavy rain fell till late in the night, when it was very dark. Anokye went into a lonely place nearby and brought some leaves. He gave one to each person and asked them to put [these leaves] under their armpits and [to] close their eyes. As soon as they did so and opened their eyes they found themselves at home [i.e. teleportation]
9. Once, at Awukugua, Okomfo Anokye asked his servants to go into the pool Asenee, about two miles away from the village, where they would find two strangers, a man and a woman, sitting in a brass pan and floating on the surface of the pool. When the servants arrived there, they saw the two people with a fowl and yam, and brought them home to Anokye. The two people later got married and had children and settled at Akuapem-Akropong. Their descendants were Asarebea and Manubea and are still known as Aseneefo.
10. Once, Okomfo Anokye poured the dregs of palm-wine on to the ground and immediately there grew an oil-palm tree. It is alleged that the oil-palm tree stands now near the main street at Awukugua by his shrine "Obuabeduru". It is harvested yearly and the fruit distributed to the seven Stool holders, known as Adadifo, and the Chief of the town.
11. Anokye used his own kuronnua or wooden sandals to climb up that oil-palm tree and left some imprints of his feet on the trunk. These are still seen on the tree at Awukugua (see second photo below)
12. It is alleged that on ceremonial days, if the people of Awukugua were short of palm-wine, Okomfo Anoche would climb up that oil-palm tree by the street with his wooden sandals on, and would bend a branch and use it as a pipe through which the palm-wine would flow, and people would collect it beneath the tree.
13. He moulded an Ɔware game board out of a stone, which is still seen as Awukugua (see photo below - this one is remarkable, the implication is that he moulded the stone with his hands!)
14. In a sacred place called Ayete at Awukugua, Anokye used to perform some mysterious rites in connection with a very big rock. He would perform an invocation and go into a trance until water came out of the rock. The water was used for cooking the nuts of the palm tree at the place of the seven Adadifo. If the water failed to come then it was a bad omen, and Awukugua should be purified.
15. Okomfo Anokye would walk through the rain without getting wet.
16. Okomfo Anokye would point his finger at a hawk on a tree which had seized a chicken, and the hawk would drop down dead.
17. Okomfo Anokye would cook food in a perforated pot, and would also boil medicinal herbs in it [i.e. without the liquid spilling out]
18. Okomfo Anokye would dash a raw egg against a stone, but the egg would not break.
19. In a rock on a mountain at Apedwa, Akim Abuakwa, there is a foot-print which is supposed to be that of Okomfo Anokye.
        Okomfo Anokye`s sandals marks on the tree





     The modern version of Oware, a game that Okomfo Anokye invented

THE MIRACLES OF OKOMFO ANOKYE IN ASHANTI

1. In a street in Kumasi, Anokye pushed a dagger into the Earth, since then no one has been able to pull it out.

2. One Friday, a great gathering of chiefs and elders of Ashanti was held in Kumasi. Anokye on that day was at his best, and he danced until he went into a trance. When he regained consciousness there was darkness, thunder and storm, in the midst of which, accompanied by a thick cloud of white dust, he brought down from the sky a wooden stool, adorned with gold which floated gently and alighted on the knees of Osei Tutu. This  became the famous "Sikagua Kofi" (The Golden Stool) of Kumasi and of Asanteman.
There was a small stream in Akrofoso, Agona, called "Obosom Kwabena", which was brought out of the ground by Okomfo Anokye.
3. Anokye by his magic was able to drain a stream called Agyempansu which ran through Kumasi. Having drained the river and made it flow again he renamed it Suben.
4. It is said that the chief of Mampong in Ashanti had a sister called Saka who was childless. Anokye ordered her to go to a stream called Oda to collect some sand. He then told her to sprinkle the sand with "medicine" on a mat upon which she was to lie face downward for seven successive days. She obeyed and bore a son called Amaniampon.
5. Just before the start of the Ashanti-Denkyira wars, Anokye went to Denkyira, turned himself into a beautiful fair-skinned girl and while at the market, succeeded in being called into the harem of Ntim Gyakari. Anokye then turned back into himself after having collected the "seed" (some say his heart) of the Denkyira king, then returned to Ashanti to use it for juju ("medicine") against Denkyira.
6. One day, (presumably in preparation for the Ashanti-Denkyira wars) Anokye had a stool made for him in Ashanti and then went into a trance. When he regained consciousnes and was dancing, he caused an object to come from the sky and this, together with the "seed" (some say his heart) of Ntim Gyakari were mixed and put into the stool. Later Anokye became possessed and danced again. In his frenzy he struck the head of [a sacrificial] albino who vanished into the stool. The stool was then given to Krodua, cheif of Tafo, for custody.
7. Okomfo Anokye used 77 perforated pots called "Nkosena" to boil war meducine during the Denkyira wars. He could put liquid into these pots without the liquid running out.
8. During the Ashanti wars, Anokye ordered General Amankwatia to go to a certain spot in the bush where he would meet a big leopard. Amankwatia went there and broung the leopard back alive [apparently guiding it by its left paw] and it was used by Anokye in his magic.
9. During the wars of liberation with Denkyira, Anokye and his son, called Agyapa, climed a certain "kyenkyen" tree from where he could see Ntim Gyakari, the Denkyira king, in his camp. Anokye left imprints of his feet on the tree (see photo below)
10. During the Asante-Denkyira wars, the Denkyira also had a famous priest on their side called Kyerekye. He and Anokye pitted their magic against one another. Anokye tied a knot in an elephant's tusk and then sent it to Kyerekye to untie (which was apparently left untied, see photo below)
11. It is said that Ashanti started to suffer some reverses when the Denkyiras were pressing them on all sides. Anokye then ordered a swarm of bees to attack the enemy, so that the Denkyiras fled in all directions. In their panic the Denkyiras fell into the hands of the Ashanti and many prisoners were taken.
12. In another story it is said that while the Denkyiras hotly pursued the Ashanti, Anokye made total darkness fall on the whole line of Denkyiras which made it impossible for them to find their way.
13. On another occasion during these wars when the Ashanti were getting desperate and about to despair, Anokye with his magic wand made a forest of oil palm trees spring up to block the advance of the Denkyiras
14. On yet another occasion during these wars, Anokye made a silk cotton tree expand and spread out like a fence or wall to receive enemy fire.
15. Again on another occasion Anokye used his fly whisk to direct the bullets fired by the enemy to pass by his left side to hit a big tree far away back at his village. The tree is still stainding at his village near Agona Akyempem, and is called "Odan-gye-abo" (i.e. tree-receiving-shots)
16. Yet again (during the Ashanti-Denkyira wars) in desperation the Ashanti were fleeing so they left the body of a dead general behind. Anokye however made the dead body stand up as it joined the others in flight.
17. After the Denkyira wars, the king of Dwaben refused to give presents to Anokye (while the others did). Anokye then became annoyed and sent a cadaver ant into the cheif's ear, saying: "Bring the awards and presents for Anokye" (Twi: Kotowbre se ma w'abode mmra nanso 
Ɛmmra ntƐmntƐm"). The chief became afraid and offered gold and many slaves to Anokye.
18. After the battle of Feyiase there was [famine]. Anokye said the shortage would be overcome by sacrificing an albino. One was sacrificed and the famine stopped.
19. Okomfo Anokye informed Osei Tutu that he was going away on a quest to find "medicine" against death. He would be gone for seven years and seventy seven days and nights. During this time there was to be no mourning for him, no gunshots, although he appeared dead. He returned to his village and went into his hut. Anokye had his nephew Kwame Siaw watch over him during this time. After seven years and seventy days, his nephew obeyed his uncle's order but after this time he declared his uncle dead. He instigated the weeping and gunshots [part of a ritual to see off the departed]. Upon opening Anokye's door, the room was empty. It is said that on that very day there was a man from Mampong visiting Agona (Anokye's region) who asked what all the noise was about. He was told that Okomfo Anokye had died so the people were mourning him. The man from Mampong then said he was Okomfo Anokye and that because his orders were disobeyed, because the final funeral rites had been performed, he was going to leave Ashanti never to return again.
(*This particular final story has a lot in common with another similar story from Taoist spiritual traditions which I have come across. The similarity comes in disobeying the instructions given by a spiritual master who went into suspended animation -k-)

*For more detailed published Ashanti accounts of the life and exploits of Okomfo Anokye, see chapter 24 of Rattray's book Ashanti Law and Constitution

source:http://www.theakan.com/Okomfo_Anokye_greatest_Akan_shaman.html

THE MIRACLE OF THE IMMOVABLE SWORD

         Okomfo Anokye`s immovable sword
The story is told that hundreds of years ago there lived a king called King Arthur in medieval Europe and his knights of the round table. At that time there was a magician named Merlin who acquired a sword from the lady of the lake. The goddess of the lake gave Merlin a special sword at a time when there were wars among neighboring towns. This sword given to Merlin the magician was charged with magical powers and mystery.

After many years of wars and conflicts Merlin planted this sword into a rock and prophesied that whoever is able to pull out the sword would be crowned the new King. Many tried to pull out the sword but failed, until a young boy by the name of Arthur came along and pulled out the sword from the rock. Arthur was crowned as King and he formed a group of trusted inner guards that became known as the knights of the round table. King Arthur fought many battles with the magical sword and defeated many of his enemies until his death.

Today, such an immovable sword truly exist in a city called Kumasi, in the country of Ghana, West Africa. In the 19th century a medicine man and native priest by the name Okomfo Anokye who was famous for his healing and magical powers planted a sword in the ground and prophesied that no one would be able to pull it out of the ground. Unlike the sword of Merlin, who prophesied that only one person would be able to pull it out of the ground, the sword of Okomfo Anokye does not foretell anyone pulling it out of the ground.

Okomfo Anokye planted the sword into the ground in the city of Kumasi, near the present teaching hospital, in Ghana, West Africa, and you may travel to that location and see the sword even to the present time with your own eyes. Many have gone to this location and have attempted to pull out the sword. The strongest and the boldest have tried, yet all have failed. I have visited Kumasi and have seen the sword with my own eyes, but did not attempt to pull it out.

What is the mystery behind such feats of magical power? By the name of the God of Okomfo Anokye, he planted the sword in the ground and no power has been able to take it out of the ground. Truly, there is a spiritual power of some sought at work here, but can the mystery be solved? It is by the power of the names of the Seven African gods, is it by the power of the names of The Seven Hebrew Gods, or is it by the power of the name of popular Ghanaian god Akonode, that this miracle was accomplished. No one knows, excerpt that Okomfo Anokye has died with this knowledge. They said Jesus walked on water, but there is no evidence today that he did. They said Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead but there is no evidence today that he did. They said Moses parted the red sea but there is no evidence today that he did. The said Merlin planted a sword in the ground, but there is no evidence today that he did. Okomfo Anokye planted a sword in the ground and for hundreds of years it remains in the ground. This miracle of the immovable sword of Okomfo Anokye should be declared the eighth wonder of the world. (http://okomfoanokye.blogspot.com/)

MONUMENTS IN HONOR OF OKOMFO ANOKYE

       Okomfo Anokye`s statue at Kumasi Central Business Town,Adum.

    Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi was named in honor of Okomfo Anokye


4 comments:

  1. I really loved this! actually posted it on my facebook wall! do you have a facebook user name?

    thanks

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  2. really interesting piece. Was nice to learn the different versions of the legend. I only knew the Ewe and Akan versions.

    In the Ewe version i knew, Okomfo Anokye is said to be the twin brother of Togbui Tsali. Both grew to be powerful sorcerers who did mighty things even when they were young. However, when they grew up, Anokye decided to travel and make his name somewhere else since two fetish priest were too much for the Anlo state.

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  3. As a kid, I couldn't help but notice the many similarities between Okomfo Anokye's story and King Arthur's story.
    Okomfo Anokye = Merlin
    Osei Tutu = Arthur
    Gold Stool = round table
    Excalibur in a stone = Okomfo Anokye's unremovable sword
    Merlin 'death' = Okomfo Anokye's death
    So many more

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