Why Did The Ashanti Trade Slaves

Why Did The Ashanti Trade Slaves.A powerful kingdom during the 18th and 19th centuries, it has its closest origins in the enrichment caused by the export of gold during the period from 1550 to 1650.In 1896 the British colonial power, which has been spreading throughout East Africa , manages after difficult battles to convert the Asante kingdom into a British protectorate, forcing King Prempeha into exile.

Why Did The Ashanti Trade Slaves.3 Facts You Must Know

The reasons behind their involvement in the slave trade are complex and multifaceted. Here are some key factors:

  1. Economic Factors: The transatlantic slave trade was driven primarily by economic considerations. The Ashanti, like many other African societies, engaged in the slave trade to obtain valuable goods and resources from European traders. Slaves were seen as a form of currency and a commodity that could be exchanged for goods such as firearms, textiles, alcohol, and luxury items.
  2. Political Factors: The Ashanti Empire was involved in various conflicts and wars with neighboring states. Slavery played a role in these conflicts, as prisoners of war were often captured and enslaved. The slave trade provided a means for the Ashanti to dispose of their captives, gain economic benefits, and weaken rival states by disrupting their labor force.
  3. Social Factors: Slavery was already a part of African societies prior to the arrival of Europeans. The Ashanti, like many other African cultures, had systems of slavery and servitude in place. Slaves in African societies were often integrated into the community and had certain rights and social standing. However, the scale and nature of the transatlantic slave trade introduced by Europeans were vastly different and much more brutal.
  4. European Influence: The involvement of European powers in the transatlantic slave trade had a significant impact on African societies. European traders and colonial powers actively sought to exploit existing African systems of slavery and exacerbate divisions among African groups for their own economic gain. They established forts and trading posts along the African coast, offering firearms and other goods in exchange for slaves.

It is important to note that while the Ashanti Empire participated in the slave trade, they were also victims of the slave trade themselves. Many Ashanti people were captured and sold into slavery by rival African states or European slave traders.

Asante People Facts


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  • 1 Location
  • 2 neighboring towns
  • 3 History
  • 4 Economy
  • 5 sources


It is the largest ethnic group in Ghana. Considering the dialectal diversity, the Asantes occupy the center-south of the country in the province of Ashanti; the following groups are culturally Asante: the Akuapem to the southeast, in the area north of Accra; and the Fanti in the area between Winneba , Takoradi , and Obuasi .

neighboring towns

Baule, Ewe, Dagomba.


What during the 18th and 19th centuries would be the powerful Asante kingdom has its closest origins in the enrichment that the export of gold meant during the period from 1550 to 1650.

In the year 1697 the Asantehene (king) Osei Tutu , unifies under his mandate all the Asante people, creating the powerful modern state of Ghana. To extend the power of his kingdom, Osei Tutu, along with his head priest, changed the constitution and ceremonial regalia (cloths, ornaments, and decorations). Of particular importance as a symbol of the unity achieved is King Osei Tutu’s substitution of the royal throne (a stool ) for the Golden Stool which (he said) had descended from heaven into his lap and symbolized the nation of Asante. He creates the national festival “Odwira” in which the Asante annually gather after the yam harvest to celebrate their unity with his kingdom.

In 1896 the British colonial power, which has been spreading throughout East Africa , manages after difficult battles to convert the Asante kingdom into a British protectorate, forcing King Prempeha into exile.

In 1901 the British annexed the south of what is now Ghana and founded the colony of the Gold Coast . During all these years the British to demonstrate their power over the Asante people used the Golden Stool with the consequent humiliation for the population.

In 1935 they return the Golden Stool to the new Asantehene (king), Prempeh II, who revives the old ceremonies and tries to restore the old glories.

In 1947 Kwame Nkrumah returned to the Gold Coast to become the political leader of Ghana in 1957 , which became the first independent black African state.

On April 26, 1999 , Nana Kwaku Dua ascended the Golden Stool as Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, becoming the sixteenth Asantehene in direct succession from Opemsuo Osei Tutu I, the founder of the Asante Kingdom. Otumfuo Osei Tutu II is the youngest of five children born to Nana Afua Kobi Serwaa Ampem II, the female Asante or Asante Queen Mother.


The base of their early power was the gold trade. During the centuries that the slave trade lasted, they made great profits acting as intermediaries, especially buying Mande slaves from the Hausa and exchanging them from European traders for weapons that reinforced their already stable power. They have traditionally exported the fruit of the cola tree, much appreciated as a stimulant by the Muslims of the north.

Among the Asante mythical characters, Anansi stands out , son of Nyame, god of the heavens, and Asase Ya, goddess of the earth and fertility. Anansi, also known as “The Spider”, is an intermediary between Nyame and the living beings of the earth. He is responsible for bringing rain and controlling the borders of the oceans and rivers during floods.

Anansi is sometimes considered the creator of the sun , the moon and the stars , as well as the one who instituted the succession of day and night . It is also believed that he created the first man , into whom Nyame breathed life. It is said that he taught mankind how to sow grain and how to use tools in the fields.

His cunning, skillful character and master of all kinds of tricks and tricks make him one of the most popular characters in Asante mythology . He had himself appointed as the first king of the humans and attempted to marry Nyame’s daughter, for whom he was rejected.

by Abdullah Sam
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