Religion and politics
Khambageu's mission was entirely benevolent. He was, among other things, a healer and judge. Later he was rejected by the community, and died alone. But when people came to dig up his grave they found it empty, except for sandals; there were reports of him flying to the sun. He is now a semi-divine figure.
Even today, many rulers retain vestiges of divinity. It may, for example, be forbidden to see where they sleep. Such is the case of the Kabaka of Buganda. In addition, the king may not be allowed to touch the ground with his feet - such is the case of the Lunda of Congo and Nyamwezi of Tanzania. Likewise, the death of a king is often kept secret for a period of time and it is not referred to directly.
The search for the golden stool of the Asante
The Asantehene was sent into exile in 1896. But the key to his power - the Golden Stool - remained beyond the reach of the British. In 1900 the British Governor of the Gold Coast, Sir Frederick Hodgson, demanded the Golden Stool in the most offensive manner possible at a meeting of Asante chiefs.
"Where is the Golden Stool? Why am I not sitting on the Golden Stool at this moment? I am the representative of the paramount power; why have you relegated me to this chair?" - Verbatim transcript of Sir Frederick Hodgson's address to Asante chiefs, January 1900.
He then ordered soldiers to hunt out the Golden Stool.
"The white man asked the children where the Golden Stool was kept in Bare. The white man said he would beat the children if they did not bring their father from the bush. The children told the white man not to call their fathers. If he wanted to beat them, he should do it. The children knew the white men were coming for the Golden Stool. The children did not fear beating. The white soldiers began to bully and beat the children." - Eye Witness account of Kwadwo Afodo, quoted in Thomas J. Lewin's book Asante before the British: The Prempean Years 1875-1900.
The search for the Golden Stool sparked off a full scale military revolt, led by the Queen Mother (Yaa Asantewa). This culminated in the Governor being besieged in Kumase. The Queen Mother was only defeated by a British expeditionary force in July 1900.
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