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culture heritage customs

Culture and Ethnic Composition
The Traditional Set Up
Culture as the totality of the way of life evolved by a people through experience and a reflection in an attempt to fashion a harmonious co-existence with the environment has made the city of Kumasi the citadel of Ghana’s rich cultural heritage.

The Asantehene is the embodiment of the culture of the people.  He presides over the other paramount chiefs in the Ashanti Region.  The virtues in the traditional set-up are aptly demonstrated in the family system and the chieftaincy institutions.  Even though there are other cultures they have been eclipsed as they are in the minority.

The line of inheritance or succession in the Akan culture, for that matter the indigenes, is matrilineal.  Each family unit is headed and controlled by the Abusuapanin and Obaapanin who always ensure that the family is in perpetual peace and harmony.  Where there is a problem among members of the same family, the two elders of the family assisted by other members of the same family will resolve the impasse.  This system operates in every family and it goes up to the larger community where there are chiefs, queen mothers and elders, who apart from being spiritual heads of the larger community, are responsible for the welfare and well being of everybody.

Ethnic Diversity
Although the Kumasi Metropolis is Asante dominated, almost all the other ethnic groups in Ghana are represented.  Ethnic and cultural diversity abounds tremendously in the metropolis, but they are closely – knit together in a harmonious relationship.

The diverse ethnic groups in the area can be attributed to the following factors;
  • The rate of in migration into the metropolis as a result of its strategic location and also rapid urbanization.
  • The ability of these diverse ethnic groups to co- exist with each other and share cultural values.
  • Presence of a strong traditional administrative set-up that galvanises cohesion among the diverse ethnic groups.
Communal Spirit
In spite of the diversity in ethnicity, there is a high sense of communal spirit amongst the people. The belief   systems make the people cherish who they are and make it easier to see themselves as one people despite their differences.  This is demonstrated in the numerous clean-up exercises carried out in the metropolis.  There is also local enthusiasm in project planning and implementation.

Traditional Knowledge
The traditional beliefs and knowledge of our people are largely rooted in every aspect of their livelihood.  These values in our traditional set-up are aptly demonstrated in our family system, chieftaincy institutions and superstitions or beliefs.  Traditional knowledge is rooted in music, folktales, drumming and dancing, carvings and proverbs.  These have been carried over from generation to generation.  These are visible during festivals, durbars and funerals and have made the people of Kumasi in particular and Ashanti in general to maintain the purity and tapestry of their culture. 

Attitude and Practices
Culture as the totality of the way of life evolved by people through experience is a reflection of the attitude and practices of the people.   The rich cultural heritage of the people of Kumasi is visible in Akwasidae festival, funerals, child-naming ceremonies, communal spirit and religion.  The traditional religious practices are still upheld through the pouring of libation, marriage rites and rites of passage.

For instance, the Akan word ‘Akwaaba’ is commonly expressed or said to welcome strangers and visitors in our midst.  This expresses the hospitable nature of the people.  Attitudinally, the Akan culture stresses the importance of according respect to the elderly. Support is also extended through the extended family system. 

Participation
The traditional political system and the family structures have combined effectively to promote participation.  The Chief sitting in state with his Elders make decisions that are binding on all.  However, as a result of urban morphology Kumasi is fast losing this value to the modern traditional administrative set-up.

The diversity in ethnicity therefore does not erode popular participation in decision- making, the chiefs being the rallying points.   In Asante Culture the death of a person is seen as a blow to the entire community and everybody shares the grief.  This is demonstrated during funeral celebrations, illness and disaster.   Festivals also serve as platforms for the community to address petty squabbles and plan for the development of the community.  Participation is also vivid during elections whether local (District Assembly) or National elections.

Positive Cultural Practices
The positive cultural practices as an epitome of the rich cultural heritage of the metropolis are visible in the Akwasidae Festival, funerals and Chieftaincy institution and the traditional craftsmanship in the areas of the world’s famous Kente Cloth, pottery making and brass smithing.

Kumasi has been recognized as a focal point of international visitor interest.  By way of international visitor arrivals, it is estimated that 50% of tourists visiting Ghana make it a point to see the treasures of the city and its environs. The Akwasidae Festival attracts people from all walks of life, especially those in the Diaspora. This brings in some limited income to those who deal in traditional wares eg. kente, woodcarvings. All these are potential sources of foreign exchange earning in view of the international visitor interest in this rich cultural heritage.  Funerals and child naming ceremonies are occasions for settling amicably individual and family squabbles.

Culture and Ethnic Composition
The Traditional Set Up
Culture as the totality of the way of life evolved by a people through experience and a reflection in an attempt to fashion a harmonious co-existence with the environment has made the city of Kumasi the citadel of Ghana’s rich cultural heritage.

The Asantehene is the embodiment of the culture of the people.  He presides over the other paramount chiefs in the Ashanti Region.  The virtues in the traditional set-up are aptly demonstrated in the family system and the chieftaincy institutions.  Even though there are other cultures they have been eclipsed as they are in the minority.

The line of inheritance or succession in the Akan culture, for that matter the indigenes, is matrilineal.  Each family unit is headed and controlled by the Abusuapanin and Obaapanin who always ensure that the family is in perpetual peace and harmony.  Where there is a problem among members of the same family, the two elders of the family assisted by other members of the same family will resolve the impasse.  This system operates in every family and it goes up to the larger community where there are chiefs, queen mothers and elders, who apart from being spiritual heads of the larger community, are responsible for the welfare and well being of everybody.

Ethnic Diversity
Although the Kumasi Metropolis is Asante dominated, almost all the other ethnic groups in Ghana are represented.  Ethnic and cultural diversity abounds tremendously in the metropolis, but they are closely – knit together in a harmonious relationship.

The diverse ethnic groups in the area can be attributed to the following factors;
  • The rate of in migration into the metropolis as a result of its strategic location and also rapid urbanization.
  • The ability of these diverse ethnic groups to co- exist with each other and share cultural values.
  • Presence of a strong traditional administrative set-up that galvanises cohesion among the diverse ethnic groups.
Communal Spirit
In spite of the diversity in ethnicity, there is a high sense of communal spirit amongst the people. The belief   systems make the people cherish who they are and make it easier to see themselves as one people despite their differences.  This is demonstrated in the numerous clean-up exercises carried out in the metropolis.  There is also local enthusiasm in project planning and implementation.

Traditional Knowledge
The traditional beliefs and knowledge of our people are largely rooted in every aspect of their livelihood.  These values in our traditional set-up are aptly demonstrated in our family system, chieftaincy institutions and superstitions or beliefs.  Traditional knowledge is rooted in music, folktales, drumming and dancing, carvings and proverbs.  These have been carried over from generation to generation.  These are visible during festivals, durbars and funerals and have made the people of Kumasi in particular and Ashanti in general to maintain the purity and tapestry of their culture. 

Attitude and Practices
Culture as the totality of the way of life evolved by people through experience is a reflection of the attitude and practices of the people.   The rich cultural heritage of the people of Kumasi is visible in Akwasidae festival, funerals, child-naming ceremonies, communal spirit and religion.  The traditional religious practices are still upheld through the pouring of libation, marriage rites and rites of passage.

For instance, the Akan word ‘Akwaaba’ is commonly expressed or said to welcome strangers and visitors in our midst.  This expresses the hospitable nature of the people.  Attitudinally, the Akan culture stresses the importance of according respect to the elderly. Support is also extended through the extended family system. 

Participation
The traditional political system and the family structures have combined effectively to promote participation.  The Chief sitting in state with his Elders make decisions that are binding on all.  However, as a result of urban morphology Kumasi is fast losing this value to the modern traditional administrative set-up.

The diversity in ethnicity therefore does not erode popular participation in decision- making, the chiefs being the rallying points.   In Asante Culture the death of a person is seen as a blow to the entire community and everybody shares the grief.  This is demonstrated during funeral celebrations, illness and disaster.   Festivals also serve as platforms for the community to address petty squabbles and plan for the development of the community.  Participation is also vivid during elections whether local (District Assembly) or National elections.

Positive Cultural Practices
The positive cultural practices as an epitome of the rich cultural heritage of the metropolis are visible in the Akwasidae Festival, funerals and Chieftaincy institution and the traditional craftsmanship in the areas of the world’s famous Kente Cloth, pottery making and brass smithing.

Kumasi has been recognized as a focal point of international visitor interest.  By way of international visitor arrivals, it is estimated that 50% of tourists visiting Ghana make it a point to see the treasures of the city and its environs. The Akwasidae Festival attracts people from all walks of life, especially those in the Diaspora. This brings in some limited income to those who deal in traditional wares eg. kente, woodcarvings. All these are potential sources of foreign exchange earning in view of the international visitor interest in this rich cultural heritage.  Funerals and child naming ceremonies are occasions for settling amicably individual and family squabbles.


Negative Cultural Practices
The issue of negative cultural practices smack debate. The issue of cultural relativity comes to mind. Most of the things that are today considered negative were relevant and justifiable at the time. However, practices such as puberty and widowhood rites, which were aspects of Asante Culture, are no longer in practice in the metropolis.






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