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Otumfuo Mourns Asante Kings
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A COLOSSAL number of people including former President Kufuor, stormed the forecourt of Manhyia Palace in Kumasi on Sunday to take part in the ‘Kuntunkunudae’ Festival, which was held to mourn the past Asante kings and queens.

The festival, which saw the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II sitting in state, also saw paramount chiefs in the Asante Kingdom and other top personalities in society, including politicians and security capos, in attendance.

As traditional demanded all those who attended the traditional event – including the Asantehene – were clad in dark clothes to signify that indeed, Asanteman was mourning its past kings and queens.

The rich traditional programme formed part of activities marking Otumfuo Osei Tutu II’s 15th anniversary on the Golden Stool. The Kuntunkunudae was held to precede the Akwasidae Kesse Festival which would be marked in May this year.

The Kuntunkunudae was last observed five years ago when Otumfuo Osei Tutu II marked his tenth year reign on the Stool. This year’s event was marked amid pomp and pageantry, though it was a solemn traditional activity.

Some selected paramount chiefs in the Asante Kingdom danced in palanquins as they stormed the durbar grounds where traditional Asante tunes were being played in the background.

After the various chiefs and important dignitaries had taken their seats, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II emerged at the durbar grounds in a palanquin amid the firing of musketry.

The Asante King, who was surrounded by a retinue of palace elders, was seen intermittently singing some traditional Asante tunes with the charged crowd acting as supporting vocalists.

No speeches were made by any of the important dignitaries present, including the Asantehene during the event. The charged mourners, especially women, were usually seen singing dirges and dancing to traditional tunes.

The Asantehene, at the tail end of the event, presented traditional drinks to the chiefs and the important dignitaries to portray the rich culture of the Asantes.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu II later danced exquisitely to traditional tunes whilst riding in the palanquin as he moved round the durbar grounds to shake hands with some selected chiefs and important people.

In an interview with DAILY GUIDE, the Asokore Mamponghene, Nana Boakye Ansah Debrah, who is also the Nifahene of Kumasi, said that the Kuntunkunudae Festival is just like the Akwasidae.

He however, explained that what makes the Kuntunkunudae different is that it is marked to mourn past Asante Kings and queens who “had gone to the village.” (He had died).

Nana Boakye Ansah Debrah noted that the Kuntukunudae was also being held to call for special protection of the past kings and queens as the Asanteman prepares to mark Akwasidae Kesse, this year.
Source: I.F. Joe Awuah Jnr/Daily Guide

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