The history of Asante cannot be underscored without spirituality. In that, most of the achievement of Asantes was borne out of the spiritual involvement of Okomfo Anokye (a priest, spiritual advisor, and later, chief of Agona)
It is therefore not surprising that the Asantehene has a dedicated office, Nsumanfieso, rooms where regalia items used by Nsumankwaafoɔ (priests, physicians, medical corps, and spiritual advisers) are kept.
Notable among the inseparable spirituality of the Asante Kingdom is the golden stool “sika-dwa Kofi”, which is believed to have been commanded from the skies, and the ‘Kum tree’ which brought about the name Kumasi.
In the Asante Kingdom, every aspect of life including the environment is replete with spiritual and religious interpretations.
Below are the two out of the powerful but not well-known herbs that are believed to spiritually fortify Otumfuo against evil spirits.
The first item on the list of the spiritual protection tools is the “Apunnuro”. It is a combination of seventy-seven herbal plants that are burned (as incense) in a room to spiritually fortify the Asantehene’s physical body against “bad eyes” and bad people during court or state functions.
Another powerful item is The “Samanka”, it consists of a brass pan and in it is found ‘nsɛbɛ’ (talismans), animal horns and a mixture of herbs said to possess the power to spiritually sweep or clean the route, or drive away evil spirits and neutralize all evil intentions by adversaries so as to pave the way for the King to approach.
It is carried on the head by Samanka Kɔmfoɔ (one of the Asantehene’s healers and diviners “Nsumankwafo” (Samanka Priest). The carrier is assisted by two men carrying bodua (flywhisks) since the former is possessed. The samanka leads all kinds of processions, celebratory or those of grief. Two assistants holding flywhisks walk left and right of the carrier.
The ‘samanka’ often emits smoke when set alight by the Nsumankwaa division. It is believed to contain holy water with which the Nsumankwaahene can stop rain from disrupting important religious ceremonies.
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