Thursday, 30 January 2014

Luxe Art: Historical Treasures

African Art
Asante Artist, Ghana (formerly the Gold Coast)
Bracelet, ca. 19th century
Gold and other metal alloys
Donated by Maureen and Harold Zarember of Tambaran Gallery

Value: $5,000–$7,000

This ring combines Akan/Asante and European jewelry designs. It was made by an Akan/Asante metal-smith working in the gold-rich forest region of what is now Ghana, formerly known as the Gold Coast. Similar rings appear in nineteenth century British jewelry catalogues.

The ball-tip bracelet is of European origin, but its ornamentation, resembling plant buds, is of Akan/Asante invention. The subject matter of Akan/Asante art includes the flora and fauna of the local environment; objects of daily life; and images of Akan people involved in social, religious, and political interactions. While this work of art dates to the nineteenth century, its history is linked to that of the West African empires that rose to power more than 1000 years before.

The modern nation of Ghana is named after the Empire of Ghana founded during the eighth century. For many centuries before the rise of the Akan states and the founding of the Asante Kingdom, gold was mined in West Africa south of the Sahara and gold was the basis for the trans-Saharan trade. Akan states developed toward the beginning of the fifteenth century stimulated by the demand for gold on the world market. By 1482, Europeans began to establish trading forts in coastal Akan areas. Akan states exchanged gold for slaves to clear the forest and mine or pan for more gold.

By about 1500, Akan peoples exported more than 1000 pounds of gold each year. As gold trade routes shifted from the Sahara to the coast, Akan royal courts became the most splendid in Africa. The Asante confederacy was formed at the end of the seventeenth century. On March 6, 1957, Ghana became the first sub-Saharan African nation to regain its independence.


Paulina says: It blows my mind the amount of treasures of Ghanaian origin found outside of Ghana. Will we ever value our historical treasures.... Can't the Gods-that-be in Ghana put their hands in the pocket and buy back some of these treasures and put them in some museum somewhere in Ghana!!!!!

Slave Stories: Kofi

A small drum from Akim, Accra, Ghana.

Do you know my mother? She is so beautiful. She has a beautiful blue dress and a black necklace and lots of combs she lets me play with sometimes. She looks after my sister, Aba and me. I fight with my sister and uncle always blames me. Aba is his favourite.

I have lots of friends in my village. They are called Kobbi and Bobo and Kojo. When I'm not playing with them I help my mother and look after our goats and chickens but they always run away. Aba always says she will help me but she never does.

Sometimes my uncle shows us how to play his drum. He plays for the chief| of the Fanti| and is very, very good. He even helped us kill a goat so we could make a new drum for him. He might let me have his old one but I don't know yet.

I'm going home soon. Uncle said that if I went with his friends that they would take me to visit a special, surprise place and that I could come back soon. I asked if my friend Kobbi could come but he said no. He looked funny when he said it and my mother and sister were screaming and crying. He pushed them inside the house and told them to stop it.

I got frightened but he said that there was nothing to worry about and that I had to wear a special necklace| so that I would be like all the other people who were going to this special place. He looked sad|.

My necklace is very heavy. When I had to walk| I could barely move, so a big man called Abeeku helped me. We played a game - how many steps before we got tired. After a while I began to think that my uncle had tricked me and that we were really going to a horrible place, or maybe his friends tricked him.

One day we got to a great big house| made from stone and everywhere were the white people| uncle told me about. They are very hairy and smell funny to me. I held the Abeeku's hand and went down into a dark hole| under the building.

It was very hot and smelly and everyone in there was very angry. Men were shouting and fighting| and then the white men came and shouted and hit everyone. I stayed close to Abeeku for many days. One day, just before we came here, he started to cry, so I cried, so the white men took us all to this place|.

I am scared of all the water|. Yesterday we had to go up onto the top of this boat. My eyes hurt and my knees were stiff. Then I saw all the water but I couldn't see the land and I got very frightened so I forgot to jump up and down like the others. One of the white men shouted next to my face and I remembered. 

I like the rice food they give us but the hard crunchy things| have insects in and they are hard to chew. Abeeku helps me eat them. I wish I had a nice juicy piece of fruit| - I even dream about it.

Today when we were on top of the boat some of the men who sit near me suddenly attacked| some of the white men. They started to fight and the white men won but not before some of the other men jumped into the water. I think they are gone.

Then we got pushed back into the hole quickly and I got kicked, then the horrible screaming started and I covered my ears. Someone said they could see men hanging by their thumbs| and I could hear the sound of the whip. I feel sick and want to go home.

The sounds on top became different and Abeeku said he thought we were there. I didn't want to get off the boat and tried to stay to the end, but Abeeku just walked off. Then some people began shouting and I saw two dead men were chained next to them and so I ran out as fast as I could.
On the land I couldn't see anything because there were so many people around me. I saw Abeeku ahead but before I could get to him a hand grabbed me and a white man looked in my mouth|. I tried to pull but he had my arm.
Before I knew what had happened I was being pulled back towards the water. I tried to run back but soon I was on another, smaller boat| with strange people.

There is a boy here on the plantation| who looks like my friend, Kojo. His name is Paul and everyone treats him badly because he has funny colour skin| and because his father was white. Even I hit him sometimes. He calls me John|. So does Mr Jones, the master here.

There are lots and lots of people called slaves here. Paul says I'm a slave but I don't know what that means. One day master saw Paul teaching me to speak English and hit| him so hard. There are some children here who look like me who have never been anywhere else|. They try to make me do their work but their mothers| in the house stop that. They say I have enough to do looking after the animals outside.

The women tell me that I am almost a man now and Mr Jones says that tomorrow I will work with the men in the fields|. I see what happens there and dread tomorrow.

The overseer| is an evil man who will do anything to make people scared, sick or hungry. He's too fat to move quickly so uses a gun. The men who came here with me have mostly died|. Master has arguments with him sometimes but that just means he is sneakier. Maybe I can escape in the night.

The overseer| has gone. Paul said he was costing Master too much money. The new overseer is weaker. The women shout things at him and he just laughs.

I say the same things but don't know what they mean. My mother would be ashamed. He does not seem to notice when we work slowly| but I am sure master will. We should be careful.

An 18th-century Caribbean newspaper advert, looking for news of Jacob, a runaway slave.

Two nights ago some men ran away towards the river. Some came back this morning with the patrollers|. They have metal necklaces| like the one I wore and they bleed a lot. One man hasn't come back yet. Maybe he got to the river and found a boat. Maybe I could do the same.|

Last night the Master and his men came into the bunkhouse|, cursing and kicking and beating as they looked everywhere. They said this will happen every night now. I wonder what they are looking for. Paul said it is because the men on another plantation rebelled|. They were burned alive to teach the rest a lesson. Maybe I'm safer here.

Kofi grew to an adult and had a child| with another slave. He then had family ties and other people to consider so did not run away as planned. One day, when his son had grown, he saw a huge group of people moving towards the plantation and heard from them that slavery has been abolished| for several years. The new master used a gun to try to stop them leaving but without success. Kofi and his family left with the other ex-slaves.

Text & Photo Credit:

Slave Stories: Kwame

This is a gold pectoral disc. They hung from cords around the necks of young men who served the Asantehene. These servants were known as 'souls' and walked in front of the chief on ceremonial occasions to ward off evil. The discs are often known as soul-washers' badges.

Like many others I was a goldsmith| in our town, Kumasi|, making jewellery and statues and other decorations. I learnt the skill from my father and he from his. We made many beautiful pieces - they made us wealthy. Our best customer was the Asantehene| (although I did not agree with his taste!).

I don't know why the Asantehene| lied. He said I cheated him; that I sold him poor quality gold. Other young men|, some I know well, were accused of crimes| as well. I think he planned to sell| us to the white slave traders.
Some of the others tried to struggle against the guns and chains. There was no point. I saved my strength.
I didn't see my family. I fear for my wife, Kessie and our son, Adisa. I hope my father is there to care for them. I hope they are safe. I think the Asantehene will tell my father lies and try to cheat him again. I try to be angry, hoping it will stop me falling into misery like the others here but it is difficult.

The worst time of my life was in the despair of that stinking, black, silent hole| with hundreds of men and boys|. Then a white man picked me. Kessie, my wife, used to say I have a proud face - I think it has helped me here. This man looks different to the others - cleaner and with different, finer clothes. He seems to be a kind of doctor| but I don't recognise his methods or tools. I am careful not to anger him|.

Days have passed and I am grateful to this man - I am in the sunshine. I help him clean and heal the people still in the hole. They have dirty sores under their metal rings, wounds from whipping and many cannot eat or drink. They get so thin. I think many will die| before we see land - even some of the white men|.

Today I wished to be in the hole with the other people. White men are demons and I fear I am less Asante being near them. They spit and kick and whip children and women, and sometimes each other. Then they even threw a newborn baby into the water. I stopped his mother following him and then we sat and cried.
The white men are getting excited and are pointing. I can see land|. It is green and mountainous.

As we were rowed from the ship to the land I tried to stay close to the doctor. I thought I knew what type of man he was but yet again I was deceived. As soon as we reached land I was pushed into a stockade with the others. I spat at the doctor and a white man smashed me in the mouth with the end of his gun. The doctor looked almost ashamed. The flies swarm to my blood.

Many people here are getting weaker|. Their cries become wilder and their eyes roll. We have been here without shade for several days. They've given us better food and even a little tobacco but I don't think that this is for our benefit|. Perhaps they want to raise our spirits just to put us down again.
Through the walls I can see a man close to the water's edge. They left him where he fell| and only the dogs and flies show any interest. The sound and smell makes us sick.
The waiting is terrible. I need something to happen. More white men arrive| each day.

I should reintroduce myself. I am now Peter|, or so Mr. Wells says. He is the owner of this plantation| near a place called Bridgetown|.

I didn't think it possible to hate a thing, but I hate this place and I hate sugar| - its smell, its touch, the rats, the snakes. By day I work| in the field with 200 other miserable souls, burning and cutting. We watch the ground and work quickly, trying not to look at the traitor| with the dogs and the whip.

By night we huddle in tiny sheds, the sick with the healthy, brought to life only for food. We push and trip each other like animals, grabbing what we can. I hate myself.

Today a large box arrived. The traitor tells us that it comes from a place across the sea called Liverpool| and that it will work faster than us.

Kwame lived for a few more days. The box contained a sugar harvester that he was forced to operate. Kwame's arm was caught while removing a blockage and infection set in. He died| four days later.

Text & Photo Credit:
 Life before capture

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Unmissable: Asa Baako Music Festival, March 7-9 2014, Busua Beach, Western Region, Ghana



Beautiful people: Lady Jay-wah  & M3nsa at last years Asa Baako.....


"Asa Baako festival, meaning one dance in Akan, is a fine example of how Ghana's beach-party scene has exploded. One March 7-9, the tropical fishing village of Busua will be taken over by a mix of 2000 locals and tourists as Ghanaian acts such as Fokn Bois and Lawmaker play over three stages and at late-night jungle parties. Free, March 7-9. By KLisa Scott -Roam the Globe Section.....

Credit/Source: Metro (Wednesday 22 January 2014)


Paulina says: Omgoodness Ghana get its very own sexy Festival!!!!! I don't know the folks behind the 'Asa Baako Festival' but I'm very impressed with their marketing person(s)...

For Ghana Rising Blog to read about this must-go event in the Metro paper (UK) tells me that 'Asa Baako Festival' which takes place between 7th -9th March 2014 at Busua Beach, Ghana -- means business!! Plus its soooo good to have something this trendy for Ghana's tourist Industry, thus we must all get behind it...and that includes Ghana's Tourist Board or Authority or whatever they call themselves -now-a-days...

I don't know what to say, I'm fizzing with excitement --what a buzz!!! I get the feeling that March just might become the new December....actually Christmas in Ghana will take a good beating but --we now have 'Asa Baako' in March to add to our social calender...... fabulous!!!!

For more info about the Asa Baako Music Festival or for travel details do visit:

Do LIKE their Face Book Page via: -I have invite all me FB friends......
***All photos come courtesy of Asa Baako Music Festival

Bossip's Top 10 Countries With Beautiful BLACK Women

Miss Ghana 2010 Awurama Simpson represents

United States - First, this goes out to YOU. America has some fine Black women that we should acknowledge off the bat.

Nigeria - West African’s got some unbelievably beautiful chocolate women.

Barbados - An island full of Rih Rihs? Yes, please.

Cuba - There’s a huge community of Afro-Cuban women that will take your breath away. Luckily, some make their way to Miami for us to admire. Christina Milian’s parents are Cuban.

Jamaica - You just knew Jamaica had to get some love. Why is Jamaica such a huge destination? Yes, the drinks and scenery work out well. But the women make us keep coming back.

Trinidad and Tobago - Another island with some beautiful women. Don’t worry, they don’t have all kinds of fake goodies like Nicki.

Ethiopia - Beauty in the heart of civilization. If all women looked like this, no wonder civilization started around this area if you get our drift.

Ghana - And on the other side of the Motherland are even more beauties.

Brazil - When people hear "Brazil" they tend to forget about the huge Afro-Brazilian community that makes up so many of the beautiful women there. Yes, Adriana Lima is fine, but our Afro-Brazilians take the cake.

South Africa - South Africa has its issues once in a while, but it definitely has a ton of beautiful ladies. It’s a must for anyone looking for loooove.
Credit/Source: Bossip


"Time to represent for our sistahs.. Traveler’s Digest released a list of the countries with the hottest women, but it was missing some…um…melanin. So we decided to show some love to the women of color across the world that we wanted to give some shine to. So without further ado…10 countries with really hot Black women." Bossip


Paulina says: Posted in March 2012 by uber Black gossip website du jour -Bossip, in reaction against a prodeminatly white beauty list by Traveler’s Digest, -the list celebrates Ghanaian beauty -and Ghana Rising Blog approves... To view Bossip's 10 Countries With Beautiful BLACK Women List in its entirety visit:

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Object of Desire: AfroChic's Pineapple Wrap Dress

 Cost: GH¢42.00
Order online via:

Paulina says: How pretty is this must-have dress!!! I'm predicting that AfroChic's uber pretty Pineapple Wrap Dress is the dress of 2014... For more info about AfroChic's latest collection visit:

Photography: Loving Duke Tetteh-Quarshie of Focus GH Photography's Blonde Salad Shoot......

**All photos come courtesy of Focus GH Photography.....

Paulina says: I don't mean to harp on and on but I very rarely stumble upon photographs that are on point and shot in Ghana -sorry!!!! I'm uber blown away by Duke Tetteh-Quarshie, the photographer behind Focus GH's 'Blonde salad' shoot.

Its truly fabulous to see a Ghana based photographer using a real model, a beautiful specimen of  human fabulousness with a model neck and striking features... And for the make-up artist to have done a sterling job, for the hairstylist to be on-point and for the stylist to have kept the look simple -and on trend --all at once....its unbelievable....

I can't find the credit info, thus don't know the model, MUAs', stylist or hairstylist' name -but it would be good to know -no? I've also seen other really high fashion images by Accra based Duke Tetteh-Quarshie of Focus GH photography so I'll most definitely be keeping my Ghana Rising eye on his work. Who knows, with images like the ones above maybe we will work together in the near future.

To book or check out the rest of Duke Tetteh-Quarshie's portfolio visit:

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Beauty: Miss Ghana 2011 Stephanie Karikari set to Launch Safari Cosmetics by SK.......

Paulina says: I'm excited and looking forward to more info about Miss Ghana 2011 Stephanie Karikari's new make-up line called Safari Cosmetics by SK.... 

I've had my Ghana Rising radar on Ms Karikari for a while, and she's proving to be as ambitious and professional as she is stylish.....

As a celebrated beauty, Stephanie knows her stuff and isn't messing about as her Safari Cosmetics was named the official cosmetic partner for Africa Fashion Week in New York last year!!! Plus, from the posters, the products looks fab..... To keep up with Stephanie Karikari's fabulous happenings visit:

Ghana at the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland 2014....................

Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Peace and Justice, reads a message from Pope Francis during the Crystal Awards Ceremony at Davos 2014..... Credit: BBC

Title: Ghana in Talks With Brazil, Abu Dhabi for Financing

Ghana, the West African nation that had its credit rating cut in October, is in talks with Brazil, Abu Dhabi and South Africa for financing, President John Dramani Mahama said.

“The appetite for investment in Ghana is strong,” Mahama said in an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland yesterday. “We have short-term challenges and we don’t hide it, we are transparent and open about it. We are doing things to fix it.”

Fitch Ratings cut Ghana’s credit on Oct. 17 due to concerns that the government will overrun spending and won’t reach a fiscal-deficit target of 8.5 percent this year. Fitch cut Ghana’s rating one level to B, five steps below investment grade, while Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s Investors Service last month lowered the outlook on Ghana’s ratings to negative from stable.

“They have too short-term a view,” Mahama said of the ratings cut. “There is strong confidence in Ghana’s economy.”

The president reiterated plans to sell bonds in overseas markets, saying the government will issue this year at least $1 billion of securities and that the amount could swell to $1.5 billion “if the market looks very good.” It’d be the country’s third international offering.

Target Missed
Ghana sold $1 billion of 10-year dollar-denominated bonds in July, joining a surge in African nations’ overseas issuance, to help finance its budget deficit. The bonds yielded 8.61 percent yesterday, up from 8 percent at their sale last year. The country hasn’t yet chosen banks to help arrange a new deal, Mahama said.

Deputy Finance Minister George Ricketts-Hagan said earlier this month that the government wanted to tap the international market in April.

A slump in gold prices, shrinking investor confidence, and less-than-anticipated oil output meant that Ghana was unable to meet its growth target. Gross domestic product probably expanded 7.4 percent last year, less than the projected 7.9 percent, Finance Minister Seth Terkper said Nov. 19.

Mahama, 55, assumed office in July 2012 following the sudden death of John Atta Mills, who fell ill toward the end of his first term. The former vice president won elections five months later with a 3 percentage point victory over the main opposition party. A dispute over the results, which ended when the Supreme court upheld Mahama’s win, slowed the pace of investment in West Africa’s second-biggest economy last year.

Gold Mines
Gold-mining companies in Ghana plan to scrap as much as 4,000 jobs to reduce spending after the gold price dropped 28 percent last year, according to the Chamber of Mines. AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. (ANG) Chairman Tito Mboweni told Bloomberg TV this week that inflexible labor laws and outdated work practices are “enormous challenges” for the company’s gold mine in Ghana.

The challenges facing gold companies cannot be tied to labor laws, Mahama said. The companies will need to reach a consensus with workers to continue operations, he said. Gold dropped 28 percent last year, its first annual drop since 2000.

“I must say that Ghana has a strong tradition of trade unions,” Mahama said. “The workers are quite enlightened about their rights, they negotiate strongly.”

Budget Deficit
The government is struggling to narrow a budget deficit that grew to 12.1 percent of gross domestic product in 2012 due to election spending and an increase of state workers’ salaries. Wages now account for 72 percent of tax revenue. The government raised taxes, cut fuel subsidies and increased the price of electricity and water to narrow the gap. Ghana is targeting a fiscal gap of 8.5 percent this year, while the International Monetary Fund sees a budget deficit of 9.1 percent.

“We are taking all the measures to try and rein it in,” Mahama said of the fiscal deficit. “One is by reducing expenditures and two, by raising revenues.”

The central bank has raised borrowing costs 3.5 percentage points since 2012 to 16 percent in a bid to tame inflation that quickened the most in almost four years because of a weak currency and an unprecedented jump in fuel and electricity prices after the government cut subsidies. The inflation rate rose to 13.5 percent in December from 13.2 in November.

The cedi dropped 0.9 percent to 2.43 per dollar by 10:46 a.m. in Accra after strengthening 0.5 percent yesterday. The currency dropped 20 percent against the dollar last year, the worst among 22 African currencies tracked by Bloomberg after the Malawian kwacha and Sudan’s pound. The currency has depreciated every year since at least 1995, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, which began compiling the data in May 1994.

“We are trying to get the macro right because its key to our vision of creating an environment for foreign direct investment and for the private sector to bloom,” he said.



Paulina says: What's going on Ghana? ....I just don't know folks but........ our brothers to the east are working as team, a very aspirational and successful one at that!!! A team consisting of their President Goodluck Jonathan, a select few ministers, a handful of billionaire businessmen including: Aliko Dangote and banker Jim Ovia and for a pop of relevant popular culture (Davos is about solutions, advice, the glamorous and the fabulous after all) -music producer Cobhams Asuquo, -all went to Davos to represent a prospering Nigeria -and you know what --its quite impressive!!!

All wearing warm team building green and white scarves (Switzerland is cold after all), which President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria later put around our President John Mahama's neck??? I don't know if he did it for a bit of fun or if he thought our president was cold (mercy) --regardless, I feel that the Nigerians are getting it...-and are clever enough to use their largess to wow the worlds media -which I must add ---haven't wasted a minute with regards to the 'newly' glamorous Aliko Dangote, he is Africa and Forbes' richest African man after all (even if he wasn't, he will be now -as his being celebrated by Forbes will most definitely have helped him secure more funding for his various new ventures) -reporting his every word/wants and suggestions concerning what African governments should be doing!!!!

So while Nigeria's representatives definitely 'went-to-work, or 'Profile' as I prefer to call it -our representatives ---ok I'm going to be honest here, the thing is......apart from President John Mahama I don't know who else was there from Ghana...

I don't know if we Ghanaians were/are being our usual secretive self (nervous bored laughter) or if President John Mahama went on his own -either, dot, dot.......regardless it just lacks-lustre!!! Still its good to see photos of Ghana Rising fave, Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Peace and Justice and actor Idris Elba at Davos 2014!!!

I then......dared to tear myself away from the news of the week --which as far as Africa is concerned ---is all about future Nigerian president in the making Aliko Dangote, and read what's been written about 'us' with regards to our precious homeland Ghana -and low-and-behold (oh crumbs......oh heavens)............. it has the word BORROW in it!!!!!

Instead of using the uber platform that is the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland to sell Ghana, ----I think we still have Oil -no? Our agriculture sector is gaining grounds -no? River Island is coming to Ghana ---ok I'll leave it there!!!!.........All that's been reported about our sweet homeland Ghana is according to FT and Bloomberg et al ---is that our President John Mahama is in talks with Brazil and Abu Dhabi and South Africa for financing!!!!!

I don't know what else to say!!!!!..........Will we always be borrowers and never lenders?????

Ghana has a few good PR firms now --see past posts, I suggest for next year's Davos, -that team Ghana seeks professional advice about how to package Ghana to the rest of the world especially at such a prestigious event/platform -and go with a mind to selling Ghana's yumminess /assets etc, etc ---and leave the begging bowl at home in one of those open gutters in Accra!!!!!


"As at today, an American has more access to Africa than myself, taking visa issues into consideration. I would require 38 visas to visit 38 African countries outside of ECOWAS." Aliko Dangote

"For instance, foreign investors wait for elections to be concluded. After then, they try to check the stability of the government of the day, for at least two years, but by then, its more difficult to take any decision because the tenure of the government is coming to an end. By so doing, foreign investors are scared of incoming or incumbent governments and the cycle keeps going on," Aliko Dangote

"The government needs to make a policy where we don’t supply/export raw materials alone; we want to be involved. We want those factories to be set up and produce here, run it for us for about 4-5 years, then we can take over production ourselves. Majority of our raw materials have been exported, processed abroad and brought back with at least 10 percent higher than the original cost." Aliko Dangote

"In Nigeria, we have one of the most attractive investment policies through framework that the government has put in place to help businesses succeed. If I dreamt five years ago that I would invest in agriculture, I would write it off as bad dream or nightmare, but today, we’re investing $2.3 billion in agriculture, $2 billion in sugar, and $300 million in rice," Aliko Dangote

"In agriculture, we’re going to create 180,000 jobs in the next four years in Nigeria. African governments need to invest in infrastructure, education, economic stability." Aliko Dangote

A List of South Africans in Davos -

Friday, 24 January 2014

Ghana Rising Blog's One-to-Watch 2014: Delay (and her best quotes)

"The best revenge is looking good." Delay


"Rich people's party is sweet." Delay


"Ghanaians can't stand the truth!! May God judge us all." Delay


"I am who I am. I like what I like. I love who I love. I do what I want. Get off my back and deal with it. It's my life, not yours." Delay


"Still at work. more than tired. dear God please come to my rescue." Delay


"Men always know who their hearts belong to. If u like cook chicken in diamond sauce or do Gorilla style in bed. If its not u, Its not u!!!" Delay



1. Dont be in a hurry to move out of ur parents house.
2. Dont wait for a man b4 u start living. U can live a fulfilled life as a single woman.
3. Stay away from alcohol. It has killed others and u are not special.
4. Dont entertain a wrong number call, especially at night. Its not the right way to find lover.
5. Develop a healthy eating habit. Always take breakfast and avoid sweets.
6. Dress well: impression count. People will judge u by d way u dress even b4 dey talk to u.
7. Dont use sex as proof of love. Sex is no proof of love, he'll leave u after the sex.
8. Dont marry for the money, else u'll become 1 of his possessions.
9. Add value to yourself - get a career. Dont be fooled that a man will solve all your problems.

10. Beauty is not everything. If its all you have, u'll loose ur place to some1 less beautiful bat more matured and competent.
Pls rward this to as many women and girls as possible to help spread the message." Delay


"Delay is the brand, Deloris is the human being. Only God can judge Deloris." Delay


"Attitude kills the enemies." Delay


"Thank God for Nine West." Delay


"Bitches will become believers." Delay


"Dating a successful guy doesn't make you successful.... Success is not sexually transmitted." Delay


"I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet!!!" Delay


"Girls LOVE surprises. Surprise your girl this Valentine by introducing her to your real Girlfriend!!!" Delay


"Petty tyrants, critics and people ridiculing and parodying u, is a sign that your work is significant and also threatening."


Paulina says: Not only is Delay the 'Baddest Gal' in Ghana, -you have to be to come back from that errrm Wanlov scandal thingy in conservative Ghana, but this radio and TV personality, actress, TV/Radio producer, writer and business woman -is a woman who creates opportunities for others especially for other women and I'm fast becoming her number one fan...

The ever comedic Delay is also a fountain of wisdom and the best advice -ever, just check out, ""Girls LOVE surprises. Surprise your girl this Valentine by introducing her to your real Girlfriend" -how fabulous is she!!!!

A sort of a Ghanaian Wendy Williams, I think Delay is fantastic, has paid her dues and is definitely 'one to watch out for in 2014' --but mostly, her Facebook fan page is a must for all who love strong Ghanaian women, fab humour and want to be inspired on a daily basis...

I must take this opportunity to acknowledge that in the past I was the first to say that delay wasn't Ghana Rising material --but really, she kicks arse, calls it as it is, has given numerous people opportunities --especially on TV plus, she may not be a Menaye Donkor in the style stakes but you know what ............she's fabulous and an inspiration and I wish her more success for, (and I'm sure it was aimed at the likes of me).....Delay said, "Bitches will become believers" --and you know what ---I believe!!!!!

To keep up with Ghana Rising fave, Delay visit:

**All Quotes & photos come courtesy of Delay FB Page....

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Our People in the Diaspora: New trial sort for George Stinney, a black boy of 14 executed in 1944.........

George Stinney, Black Teen Executed In 1944, May Get New Trial

Supporters of a 14-year-old black boy executed in 1944 for killing two white girls are asking a South Carolina judge to take the unheard-of move of granting him a new trial in hopes he will be cleared of the charges.

George Stinney was convicted on a shaky confession in a segregated society that wanted revenge for the beating deaths of two girls, ages 11 and 7, according to the lawsuit filed last month on Stinney's behalf in Clarendon County.

The request for a new trial has an uphill climb. The judge may refuse to hear it at all, since the punishment was already carried out. Also, South Carolina has strict rules for introducing new evidence after a trial is complete, requiring the information to have been impossible to discover before the trial and likely to change the results, said Kenneth Gaines, a professor at the University of South Carolina's law school.

"I think it's a longshot, but I admire the lawyer for trying it," Gaines said, adding that he's not aware of any other executed inmates in the state being granted a new trial posthumously.
The request for a new trial is largely symbolic, but Stinney's supporters say they would prefer exoneration to a pardon.

Stinney's case intersects some long-running disputes in the American legal system — the death penalty and race. At 14, he's the youngest person executed in the United States in past 100 years. He was electrocuted just 84 days after the girls were killed in March 1944.

The request for a new trial includes sworn statements from two of Stinney's siblings who say he was with them the entire day the girls were killed. Notes from Stinney's confession and most other information deputies and prosecutors used to convict Stinney in a one-day trial have disappeared along with any transcript of the proceedings. Only a few pages of cryptic, hand-written notes remain, according to the motion.
"Why was George Stinney electrocuted? The state can't produce any paperwork to justify why he was," said George Frierson, a local school board member who grew up in Stinney's hometown hearing stories about the case and decided six years ago to start studying it and pushing for exoneration.

The South Carolina Attorney General's Office will likely argue the other side of the case before the Clarendon County judge. A spokesman said their lawyers had not seen the motion and do not comment on pending cases. A date for a hearing on the matter has not been set.

The girls were last seen looking for wildflowers in the tiny, racially-divided mill town of Alcolu about 50 miles southeast of Columbia. Stinney's sister, who was 7 at the time, said in her new affidavit that she and her brother were letting their cow graze when the girls asked them where they could find flowers called maypops. The sister, Amie Ruffner, said her brother told them he didn't know and the girls left.

"It was strange to see them in our area, because white people stayed on their side of Alcolu and we knew our place," Ruffner wrote.

The girls never came home and hundreds of people searched for them through the night. They were found the next morning in a water-filled ditch, their heads beaten with a hard object, likely a railroad spike.

Deputies got a tip the girls had been seen talking to Stinney. They came to Stinney's home and took him away. His family wouldn't see the boy again until after his trial. Newspaper accounts suggested a lynch mob was nearly formed to attack the teen in jail.

Stinney's dad worked for the major mill in town and lived in a company house. He was ordered to leave after his son was arrested, said Stinney's brother Charles Stinney, who was 12 when his older brother was arrested. Charles Stinney's statement explains why the family didn't speak to authorities at the time.

"George's conviction and execution was something my family believed could happen to any of us in the family. Therefore, we made a decision for the safety of the family to leave it be," Charles Stinney wrote in his sworn statement.

Charles Stinney said he remembered the events vividly because "for my family, Friday, March 24, 1944, and the events that followed were our personal 9/11."

Both statements were made in 2009. Lawyer Steve McKenzie said he planned to file the request for a new trial then, but heard from a man in Tennessee who claimed his grandfather was with George Stinney the day of the killings. McKenzie thought the information from someone not related to Stinney would be especially powerful, but the person suddenly stopped cooperating after stringing the lawyers along for years.

The request for a new trial points out that at 95 pounds, Stinney likely couldn't have killed the girls and dragged them to the ditch.

The motion also hints at community rumors of a deathbed confession from a white man several years ago and the possibility Stinney either confessed because his family was threatened or he was given ice cream. But the court papers provide little information and the lawyers also wouldn't elaborate.
At 14, Stinney was the youngest person executed in this country in the past 100 years, according to statistics gathered by the Death Penalty Information Center.

Newspaper stories from his execution had witnesses saying the straps to keep him in the electric chair didn't fit around his small frame and an electrode was too big for his leg.

Executing teens wasn't uncommon at that time. Florida put a 16-year-old boy to death for rape in 1944 and Mississippi, Nevada, Ohio and Texas executed 17-year-olds that year.

Lawyers also filed a request for to pardon Stinney before the state Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services in case the new trial is not granted.

There is precedent for that. In 2009, two great-uncles of syndicated radio host Tom Joyner were pardoned by the board nearly 100 years after they were sent to the electric chair in the death of a Confederate Army veteran. Joyner's lawyers showed evidence the men were framed by a small-time criminal who took a plea deal that saved his life and testified against them.

But Frierson said a pardon would be little comfort to him in the Stinney case. "The first step in a pardon is to admit you are wrong and ask for forgiveness. This boy did nothing wrong," Frierson said.


Nana Aba says: Its soooo hard to look at the above photo of the late George Stinney, I can bet he was innocent and was coerced into that sooo called guilty admission...........Still, 1944 was a different time, -and a very segregated America...Do Read: 

Monday, 20 January 2014

Ghanaian History: The Fanti of Gold Coast (Ghana)



Astley, Thomas, A New General Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol II, London, 1745 (excerpts)

  • Chap. VI    The Inland Countries behind the Gold Coast
    • The inland countries behind the Gold Coast being very slenderly known to Europeans, the Reader is not to expect any satisfactory account of them from the authors.

      . . .  the large kingdom of Akkanez, which encloses most of the others from the north-west, round to the north-east . . . (this is evidently Asante MH)

      All these countries are very rich in gold, as well as those along the coast, which the natives either dig out of the earth, or get at the bottom of their rivers.
      The Akkaneze are famous for the great trade they drive not only along the coast, but inland. . . the gold . . . which they sold was so fine, that to this day the best gold  is . . . called Akkani Chinka, because it was never mixed like that of Dinkira.

      The Akkani blacks are naturally of a turbulent temper, haughty and warlike. . . their usual weapons are an assagaye, or javelin, a buckler, and a simitar.  The Akkaneze mechants carry all the goods they buy on the coast by land on their slaves backs to the markets at . . . inland places.
  • Chap. VII SECT I    Of the Gold Coast Negroes, their Persons, Character and Dress
    • The Gold Coast blacks are generally of a middle stature, well-limbed, and proportioned, with good oval faces, sparkling eyes, small ears, and their eyebrows lofty and thick. Their mouths are not too large. Their teeth are curiously clean, white and well-ranged; and their lips red and fresh. . . They have little beards before they are thirty, and their elderly men wear them pretty long. They are usually broad-shouldered, with large arms, thick hands, long fingers, and long hooked nails, small bellies, long legs, broad large feet, with long toes, strong waists, and little hair on their bodies.  Their skin, though not very black, is always smooth and sleek. . . They are very careful in washing their bodies morning  and evening, and annointing them with palm-oil.  . . . Breaking wind, upwards or downwards, they have in great detestation, and will die sooner than offend that way.

      These negros are for the most part of a quick apprehension, and good memory. In the greatest hurry of business they discover no confusion, yet they are very slothful and idle, so that nothing but necessity makes them industrious. They seem, as to temper, indifferent either to prosperity or adversity. . . They are generally cunning, deceitful, and addicted to theft, as well as given to avarice, flattery, drunkenness, gluttony, and lust.. . . They are very vain and proud in their carriage, and bad paymasters.

      The women of the Gold Coast are straight, of a middle size, and pretty plump, having small, round heads, sparkling eyes, for the most part high noses, somewhat hooked, long curling hair, little mouths, fine, well-set white teeth, full necks, and handsome breasts.

      They are very sharp and witty, extremely talkative, and by Europeans represented as very wanton. . . It is certain they are good house-wives at home . . .They are very fond of their children, frugal in their diet, and tight and cleanly in their persons.

      The negros  . . . are much addicted to women, so that the foul disease is very frequent here; but they think nothing of it.

      . . . they think it no crime to steal from the Dutch; but value themselves on cheating them, considering it as a proof of their skill and ingenuity.

      . . . they have incomparable memories; for, though they can neither read nor write, yet they manage their trade with the greatest exactness; so that you shall see one of them manage four marks of gold for twenty particular persons, each of whom wants five or six different commodities, and perform it without hesitation or mistake.
  • Chap. VII SECT II    Of  their Buildings, Furniture and Diet
    • . . . the inland towns are richer and neater in their buildings

      . . . They are . . .  indifferent and careless in making roads, which are generally rough, and unreasonably winding . . . The houses of the coast negros are generally . . . small and low, looking at a distance like barracks in a camp, except those near some of the European forts, which are larger and more commodious; being at Mina and some other places, two stories high, with several ground-rooms, and some with flat roofs. . . The doorway is usually so low, that a man must stoop double almost to enter. . . The floor is even and smooth, made of red clay; as hard and compact as if laid with stone.

      Some of the chief negros keep two slaves, armed with assagayes, at their chamber-door, like our centries, which are relieved from time to time.

      They eat more fish than flesh, and more pulse than fish. . .  they have a sort of very delicious beans, besides yams, potatos, bananas and other fruits. . . the nobles and better sort feed on poultry, goats flesh, beef and pork. . . they also eat stinking fish, dried in the sun . . .their sauce, for almost every thing, is palm-oil . . .

      The husband commonly eats in his own hut . . . let the world go how it will, they must have brandy in a morning and palm-wine in the afternoon.

      The Mina bread is esteemed the best on the coast, the women there being more expert at making it.

      They make also a sort of biscuit of this dough which will keep three or four months. . . .  this they use to victual their large canoes, which trade to Angola.
  • Chap. VII SECT III    The Marriages and Education of the Negroes
    • Their weddings are attended with little ceremony . . .  the husband promises to love her, and leaves the point of fidelity out . . . the parents of each side make mutual presents. The wedding expenses consists of a little gold, wine, brandy, a sheep for the relations and new cloths for the bride, the husband keeping a very exact account of  what he bestows on her or her friends, that in case she leaves him, he may demand all back again, which they must pay . . . Though every man here marries as many wives as he can keep, yet the number seldom exceeds twenty . . . the more wives and children a man has, the more he is respected. .
  • Chap. VII SECT IV    Amorous Women, Licensed Whores, Salutations
    • A woman caught in adultery is also in great danger of her life, unless the relations pacify the husband with a large sum of money: but she who lied with her husband's slave, is infallibly condemned to death, as well as the slave her paramour. . .

      . . . when they meet abroad in a morning, they salute each other, with great kindness embracing; and joining the two forefingers of the right hand, they snap them off.

      They have not many slaves on the Coast, none but the kings or nobles being permitted to buy or sell any; so that they are allowed only what are necessary for their families, or tilling the ground.

      Their slaves are usually such wretches, as, through poverty, are obliged to sell themselves to the grandees, or nobles (who are the only merchants) to prevent starving. . . If they endeavour to escape, and are retaken, they lose, for the first attempt, one ear, for the second, the other ear; and if they be catched a third time, they sell them, or cut-off their heads, as they please. . . .They generally use their slaves well and seldom correct  them.
  • Chap. VII SECT V    Handicraft Trades, Occupations and Markets
    • The handicraft in which the blacks are most skilled is smithery. . . But their goldsmiths excel their blacksmiths in the performances. . . Besides smiths they have carpenters, thatchers, potters, hatters and weavers.

      The negros are very skilful and industrious in fishing, being brought up to it from their infancy. . .  They frequently fish by night, carrying in one hand lighted torches to see by, and in the other holding a fish spear . . . They catch them with a line, to which are fastened three or four hooks baited with carrion.  Their lines they make of bark, three or four fathom long. . . In October and November , they generally fish with nets made of bark, and about twenty fathoms long. . .

      The largest (canoes) are forty foot long, six broad and three deep . . . and carry eight, rarely twelve, tons of goods besides the crew. . . . The Mina blacks who are the worst (sic! most?) skilful in managing these large canoas, venture in them all round the Bight of Guinea, and even to the coast of Angola.  They navigate them with sails, and man them with twelve or eighteen hands, according to their size.  Their war canoas commonly carry fifty or sixty men, besides ammunition and provision for fifteen days, if required.
 Their Diversions, Dancing and Music

  • It is an immemorial custom, for the greater part of the inhabitants of a town or village to meet together every evening at the market place to dance, sing, and make merry for an hour or two before bedtime. They meet usually about sunset, their music consisting  of horn-blowers, or trumpeters, drummers, fluters and the like. . .

    The men and women, who compose the dance divide into couples opposite to each other and, forming a general dance, fall into many wild, ridiculous postures, advancing, and retreating, leaping, stamping on the ground, bowing their heads as they pass to each other . . . moving slowly or fast, tossing their fans. . .

Their Diseases, Physicians and Remedies
  • However unwholsome the Country is to Europeans, the natives are troubled with few diseases.

    . . .  the too common use of punch, so much in vogue with the English Guineans, which undoubtedly carries many off. . .

    . . . the chief medicines here in  use, are first, and above all, lemon, or lime juice; malghetta, or grana paradisi, or cardamoms; the roots, branches and gums of trees; about thirty several sorts of green herbs, impregnated with an extraordinary sanative virtue. . . there are amongst the negros both doctors and surgeons, who, without learning or degrees, perform cures . . . disguising them so, whenever they apply them to the whites, that it is impossible to discover what they are.
  • 2    Deaths, Burials and Funeral Rites of the Negros
    • As soon as the sick person is expired, they set-up such a dismal crying, lamentation, and squeaking, that the whole town is filled by it . . . the youth . . . pay their last duty of respect to him, by firing several musket shots.

      . . . when a king dies . . . they take care to provide them with servants not only for their journey but also to wait on them in the other world. . . .there is always a good number who are all sacrificed before they are aware of it . . . the king's favourite wives seek to die, in order to . . . accompany their lord to the other world.
  • Chap. VII SECT IX    The Religion of the Negros
  • 1    Of God, the Devil, and the Creation
    • The Coast negros, for the generality, believe in one true God, to whom they attribute the creation of the world , and all things in it. . . . the major part believe man was made by Anansie, a Spider. . . . those who attribute it to God, hold that in the beginning he created black, as well as white men. . . God offered two sort of gifts: gold, and the knowledge of arts, with reading and writing. . . . he gave the blacks the first choice, they chose gold and left the knowledge of letters to the whites. . . . God granted their request; but being incensed at their avarice, decreed they should be slaves to the whites, who should for ever be their masters.

      Others on this coast would persuade you that the first men came out of holes and pits . . .
  • 2    A further Account of their Fetishes
    • But as those, who trust in these fetishes, are often disappointed in their expectations, as well as the devotees of saints and images in the popish countries, does not that open their eyes, and discover the cheat?  Not in the least, since they have found out the very same arguments with the good Catholics to impose on themselves and keep up the delusion: for if any danger or mischief befalls them, or their design on their enemies should miscarry, they believe the fault is entirely in themselves, and not in the fetish: so that whatever happens, the fetish is never wrong. . .
  • 3    Negro Division of Time, Sabbaths and Priests
    • Almost every village has a small appropriated grove, where the governors and chief people frequently repair to make their offerings, either for the public good, or for themselves.  These groves are held sacred . . .
  • Chap. VII SECT VIII    Government among the Guinea-Negros
  • 1    Degrees of People. The Nobility
    • There are five degrees or classes of people among the Guinea blacks. The first are their kings . .  The fifth and last are the slaves, either sold by the relations, taken in war, or become so by poverty . . . however poor they may be in general, yet there are no beggars to be found amongst them.
  • 2    Kings, their State and Families
    • When the palm-wine comes from the inland country they go in the afternoon, slaves and all together, as companions, to the public market place, where they sit down and drink very sociably.

      Some of these slaves have more authority than their masters. For . . . by their own trading they are become masters of some slaves themselves.

    The King's Family, Officers of State and Revenue
    • . . . a marriage between a king's daughter and a slave is not thought at all unsuitable; but is something better than for a king's son to marry a slave; although this daily happens, since it is here an inviolable rule, that the children follow the mother; and, consequently, the children of the former are free, whilst those of the latter are slaves

      When the king rises from bed, his wives stand ready to wash him, and then anoint him with palm-oil.

      The palace of the king of Fetu is the largest on the Gold Coast, having above two hundred rooms

      When a king dies  . . . four slaves take the corpse and bury it in the woods, in a place unknown to any, with all his fetishes, ornaments, arms and household stuff, leaving palm-wine and other necessaries near the grave. After this they return and present themselves before the palace to be killed in order to attend their lord in the other world.
    Their Law Proceedings, Pains and Penalties
    • When the defendant has answered, the plaintiff, in his turn replies, till both sides have been fully heard, and that calmly; neither party being suffered to interrupt the other, on pain of death: which shows the wisdom of their judges, though rude and unpolished

      In Axim, if one negro has any suit against another, he goes loaded with presents of gold and brandy . . . if (the councillors) are incensed against the plaintiff, or have received a larger bribe from his adversary, the justest cause in the world cannot prevail on them to decide in his favour; but if right appear too plainly on his side, to avoid a scandal, they will delay and keep off the trial; obliging the injured person, after tedious solicitations, to wait in hopes of finding juster judges, which, perhaps, does not happen in the compass of his life.

      . . . Thus a law suit is carried on without counsel, or attornies, in a much shorter time, and perhaps with as much justice as where those gentlemen are most employed. In this country they are strangers to tipstaves, bailiffs and other law vermin, who prey on mankind; as well as to attornies, lawyers and such like cattle.
    Their Manner of Fighting and making War and Peace
    • They prepare their arms against the day appointed, and paint their faces with red, white or yellow streaks . . . not forgetting to hand across their shoulders glass beads strung on their fetish strings, as preservatives against danger. . .  On their head they have a cap or helmet of leopard's or crocodle's skin and a belt or apron of the same round their waist, thrust between their legs, covering their nakedness with a final strip of linen, as thinking all further dress an impediment when they fight. In their girdle they carry a poinard, in their left hand a long, broad shield, covering their whole bodies, and in their right three or four darts or assagayes. . . The interior sort are armed with bows and arrows (having quivers made of the skins of beasts filled with them) which they use dexterously.  The slaves or servants beat drums, or have horns or ivory pipes, with which they sound a charge.
    Brown, E. J. P, GOLD COAST AND ASIANTI READER, London, 1929.
    Dwellings.- The Akan tribes built their houses of swish or wattle daubed with clay. The roof consisted of thatch, bamboo, palm leaves or shingles. No eaves gutters were used to collect the water from the roof. The ground floor was generally raised about two or three feet from the ground. These houses generally consisted of one or two small bedrooms and an open parlour facing a quadrangle of several similar houses. The walls and floors were generally painted half-way or throughout with atwuma or ntwuma (red clay). There was hardly any ceiling. The windows and doors were made of bamboo, with sticks attached thereto as latches, by which they were fastened from the inside.

    2. Food. They had three meals a day. The first meal was Apese, which consisted of yam, plantain or bayir, boiled or roasted in the fire, and served with a preparation of tomatoes or garden eggs, okroes and pepper, in palm oil, with salt sprinkled thereon, or some such kind of meal. In modern times it consists of Mpampa (gruel), made of Maize or Indian corn, Tue (Maize porridge) or Dokun (Kankey), served with dried, smoked or salted fish. The last named meal, taken morning or evening, is known in the coast towns as Mpusawii (a dry meal). Ewifua, Ewu or Atuku (mealies) was the staple food, the maize or Indian corn being exotic and of later introduction.

    The second meal
    was fufu, a composition of cassava, yam or plantain boiled and pounded dry or moist, flowing in palm oil soup, ground nut soup, or plain soup, to which are added lumps of meat, venison or fish. This is taken in the morning, noon or evening.

    3. The third and last meal was known as Apese in the inland countries, and Mpusawii in the littoral. It consisted of mealies or maize, Kankey with Furoi (a stew of fish, braised meat, or venison). No spoons, forks or knives were used. They all sat round the meal and ate from the same dish or platter, called respectively abuyaa or yaba, kuruwa or kuraba. Their drinks were Nsa-efu (palm wine), Adube-nsa (bamboo wine), Mpeenyiwa (maize beer), Akyiresua-nsa (the date palm wine), and Kubensu (the milk of the coconut). Parched corn  and ground-nuts, or roasted ripe plantain, stewed yam, mankani (coco-yam), cassava, sweet potatoes, in palm oil; ihuw consisting of boiled ripe  plantain mixed with a thick gruel of leavened maize dough boiled together; dumpling of Kankey boiled  with ground-nuts and ripe plantain, etc., and  fruits - were generally eaten during the day. Other kinds of food were, Bese, consisting of boiled ripe palm-nuts with boiled over-ripe plantain pounded  together, Akodaawa, consisting of parched corn and over-ripe plantain ground together; Atafurata, consisting of palm oil soup, boiled together with unleavened rice dough; Dakurabu, consisting of boiled yam cut into several bits in palm oil soup.

    4. Amusements. Their amusements were mostly outdoor, their chief sports being Dewurakonson (leap frog), Ahumadsin sua-sua (wrestling), Dikyi-tsiw (turning somersault), Ampiresi (racing), Abur (swimming) and Mpapar (skipping). Their chief indoor games were the Owar (Mancala board), Dam (draughts) and Ntse Tuw (spinning vegetable marbles on mats). The principal sport of females was Ampe a jumping or hopping sport accompanied by clapping of hands.

    5. Clothing. Our remote ancestors wore a kind of cloth called Kyenkyen which was the cambium layer of a tree, sandals, skin caps called �Atwi-kyew,� and a sort of sleeveless coat known as Batakari which was generally a war dress with a sort of trousers or pantaloon called Ntwontwo, made of cotton or some such material.  At a later period the males wore cloth in the same way as the ancient Greeks wore the Himation, with an underwear called Danta known in English as loin-cloth, and put on a headgear in the form of a fillet. The females also wore the Himation as a skirt, not unlike the Hindu Saree or Sari (called Asi Tam), over an underwear called Nsiasi, which covered the breast with a band or girdle called Toma tied round the waist as a support. In early times our women folk carried their young ones in skin cradles hung at the back at the same time carrying their burden on the head. This was the case especially during the emigration from Takyiman to the Coastland. Now they carry their young at the back, supported by the Ntama or Asi-Tam.

    6. They wore gold, silver and copper ornaments, besides beads. In later times an additional garb, much reduced in length and width, called Ahatar, Akatar or Akatadu, was worn by the better class women, which they draped over the left shoulder like the menfolk, or tied over the breast high up under the arm . . .; they also wore headkerchiefs like fillets round the head, which sometimes covered their coiffure in the form of a toque. The Asianti womenfolk wore their hair short and donned the Himation, (known as Tam or Otam in Mfantsi and Ntama in Akan) almost like the menfolk. The better class Asiantifu and Mfantsifu wore their hair long and combed it from the forehead backward to the crown and from the back of the head and the base of the temples up to the same place, and either tied or untied the crown. This kind of hairdressing is known in the vernacular as Katabaku.

    7. They incised their cheeks, foreheads and sometimes their napes with the distinctive marks of the tribe. The slept on woven fibre mats and pillows filled with the cotton of the Bombax. The rich slept on a bed called Mpikyi, which was a sort of wooden bed about six feet long and three or four feet wide, consisting of sticks fixed into the ground about three feet high, holding running poles of similar length and width, interlaced with rafters, over which was spread a bedding, also stuffed with the cotton of the bombax.

    8. In modern times a considerable amount of improvement in garb has taken place among the womenfolk of this country, In the early part of the 'sixties of the nineteenth century, the Kabasrotu (a corruption of  �cover shoulder�), a sort of loose jumper for the upper part of the body, was introduced by Mr. Robert Johnson Ghartey, afterwards King Ghartey IV. of Winneba, then residing at Nnumabu, and trading on his own account, among the female members of his household, which was copied by the community. A similar change took place at Cape Coast in the 'seventies of the nineteenth century through a Mrs. Mercer, the wife of Mr. W. H. Mercer, a Gambian Mulatto, then in the service of the Colonial Government as surveyor, who dressed her maidservants in the �Kabosrotu,� which was also copied by some of the womenfolk in the Cape Coast community.

    9. After undergoing several improvements it is to-day almost a �finished article� among the young womenfolk, comparing not unfavourably with the dress of their educated sisters. It now incorporates an elaborate Asi-tam (skirt) and long upper coat with loose sleeves, a headkerchief not unlike the European toque, stockings and slippers or shoes, and a handbag. This improvement has been mainly due to the progressive Fanti woman, who is to-day regenerating the other aboriginal inhabitants, as well as the Kroo, Hausa, Wangara and other alien women inhabitants, in this direction.

    10. Religion. They were polytheistic in their religion. They selected for devotional purposes nature objects, such as the sun, moon, living animals, the sea, trees, rocks, rivers and streams, believing that the Abusum (deities) they worshipped inhabited these nature objects. Scraps of parchment tinged with blood, wooden and clay idols and charms bedaubed with palm oil and eggs and other objects, constituted their suman (fetish), which was a false form of worship. They, however, based their chief belief in a Supreme Being, who ruled and pervaded the entire Universe, and whom they called Nyankupon (the Great Friend) or the Only Great One; that is, the Omnipotent and Everlasting God.

    11. Occupation. They manufactured ironware, soap, earthenware, cottons interwoven with silk, sandals and skin caps, mats, hemp, gold, silver and copper ornaments, and other articles of dress. They were mostly husbandmen, and were fond of game and other sylvan pursuits. They also fished in the lakes, rivers and streams in Central Africa, and in the sea after the immigration.

    . They traded largely with the Asiantifu, and also with the upland or northern tribes, known as Sarimfu, in ironware, cattle, country cloths and other commodities, their principal currency being gold, also in kind. In later times cowries were used for small dealings.

    12. The Clan System. Clanship, upon which rests the whole fabric of society among the Fanti peoples, is based upon the belief that between the members of a group of families and certain classes of natural objects, such as animals, birds, fish and plants, certain intimate relations exist.. Such a species of animal, bird or fish is regarded as a totem or common origin of the tribe, for which reason the members do not eat, kill or trap it. On the sale or death of a totem, any member of its representative tribe would buy or bury it with every mark of respect, as would be paid to its human member, or, if captured alive, ransom it with a large sum of money.
    Hutton, William, A voyage to Africa, London, 1821
    83 The natives in this part of Africa are Pagans. It is true they have fetish men or priests, but these ignorant wretches do more harm than good, frequently practising the most shameful excesses upon their still more ignorant and superstitious followers, who are silly enough to have faith in what these priests profess. They appear, however to have some idea of a Supreme Being, whom they call Yaung Coompon; and when they hear thunder they will sometimes remark, that it is Yaung Coompon riding in his carriage. Their usual method of offering sacrifices is to break eggs and leave them on the ground which they consecrate to the Fetish; some tie a piece of string round a stone, and leave it on the public path; others cut out a small wooden image and fasten it to their doors, which they daily worship; and having, on one occasion, inadvertently kicked one of these wooden gods before me, the fetish man demanded a penalty of a bottle of rum for having done so, which he said was necessary to appease the Fetish; but, as I considered it would only encourage these Fetishmen to practise similar impositions upon others, I would not pay the demand, which appeared to give great offence. They have no regular mosques, but little places are erected, sometimes with mud, but more frequently with sticks and leaves, in the form of a small arbour, where they leave eggs, stones, and earthen pots; and in supplicating the Sooman, they make a most dismal noise, calling out upon their father (Majeh), or their mother (Minnah).

    I have already stated, that at Dixcove, in Ahanta, the natives worship the crocodile; at Accra, the hyena, and vultures all over the coast. A gentleman (I believe Mr. F. L. Swanzy) having killed a hyena at Accra, was obliged to pay one piece of cloth and a case of liquor as a penalty. At Dahomey the snake is revered; and a party of Englishmen destroying one of these animals were, in consequence all put to death.

    At some of our settlements on the coast, human sacrifices have frequently been made on the death of a person of distinction. On one occasion, in 1809, when I lived at Commenda, which is twenty miles from Cape Coast, a poor woman was sacrificed to �water the grave,� as it is called; but the manner in which it was done was humane, in comparison with the method which is sometimes practised in torturing the victim. This woman's head was severed from her body, by one blow with a sort of bill, and the executioner was immediately taken upon men's shoulders, and carried round the town in triumph, for not having mangled the body . . .

    This practice of sacrificing human victims, on the death of a person of distinction, is not confined to one part of the coast; it being carried on, at other places, to a much greater extent, and even with more savage barbarity.

    At Ashantee hundreds, sometimes thousands, are sacrificed on the death of a person of distinction, or on the commencement of the yam season.

    . . . But as the introduction of the customs of other countries may not be exactly correct in speaking of those of Fantee, we will now return to our remarks on that country. When a person dies, the corpse is kept for several days, and dressed in a silk or cloth robe and cap; and, being put in an erect posture, the family and friends all assemble round it some of them howling for days and nights in the most dismal manner; but the firing of guns and drinking, on such an occasion, make it appear more like a day of rejoicing than that of' mourning. The gold ornaments and silks of the deceased are put in the coffin and buried with the corpse, in the house of the family.

    89 . . .Polygamy is allowed; and even Europeans shamefully degrade themselves by keeping two or three women at a time. Their method of obtaining these poor girls from their mothers is by giving cloth, liquor, tobacco, and pipes to the amount of 15. or 20. on the day of the marriage, and as long as these girls behave well they receive an allowance of 15s. per month.

    Marriages are not attended with any religious ceremony. The parents or family of the female receive a certain sum, depending on the rank and wealth of the husband, a few pipes and tobacco, and some liquor, with which they make merry: and the bride, being dressed in costly silks, and richly ornamented with gold, parades through the town with her friends for several days, to show herself and make her marriage known. Adultery is punished with slavery; but in general one, two, or three slaves are paid to the injured husband. In this country, as in all others, there is no want of prostitutes.

    The natives are the greatest thieves I ever met with. This is their general character . . .

    . . . Although the Ashantee are great thieves, many of them are industrious, and work hard. They follow the occupations of fishing, trade and agriculture; others are employed by the Europeans in various capacities, such as gold takers, hammock men, canoe-men, messengers, &c. . .

    93 The women work very hard and are generally great slaves to the men; they are extremely cleanly, but I cannot say so much for their delicacy, having seen hundreds of them at a time in a state of nudity, at the sea-side, at Cape Coast, washing themselves, which they do every morning early; after which they use a little oil, to make their skins shine.

    The superior black women and mulattoes dress very modestly. They wear a cloth either of silk or cotton, which they fasten round their waist with a handkerchief, from which is suspended in front a large bunch of silver keys, about thirty two in number . . . The young girls in general are proud of showing their bosoms, but the mulatto women conceal theirs by wearing a linen shirt.

    95 It is difficult to define the religion, laws, and customs of a barbarous people, whose language you are unacquainted with, and who either wilfully evade your questions, or are unable to give you satisfactory answers; but what has already been said, it is hoped, will convey to the reader some idea of the Fantees . . .

    Indian corn, within the last few years; has been cultivated to a great extent. Many vessels have been loaded with it for Madeira and other places, which is strong proof that if the slave trade were once entirely abolished and the attention of the native directed to agricultural pursuits, they would soon become a very superior people. The country would be better cultivated; and the natives civilized. The former is blessed with a fine climate, and the latter with intellectual capacity little inferior to our own.

    The general appearance of the country is beautiful, many parts resembling a gentleman's park; deer, hares, partridges, wild ducks; pigeons, &c. abound; sheep, goats, pigs, and poultry are also plentiful.

    The natives on the coast live commonly upon cankey and fish; the latter they procure in great abundance from the sea, and the former is the black's bread, and is an excellent substitute for European bread when flour is scarce . . .

    Palm wine is drank all over the coast . . . rum, however, is preferred. The natives on the coast, as well as those in the interior, manufacture pots and other vessels, which they cook their victuals in, and make use of in carrying palm oil and water . . .

    As regards the general character of the Fantees, I cannot speak very favourably . .
    Lee, Mrs. R. (Mrs. T. Edward Bowdich), Stories of Strange Lands, London, 1835
    22 . . . the jewels, or rather gold ornaments, form no inconsiderable portion of family property; they descend from mother to daughter; and one woman, on state occasions, will frequently wear many hundred pounds' worth of gold about her person. A very pretty Mustee girl (of the palest shade of colour) came to see me the morning after her marriage, and had on a very fine linen shirt (a covering adopted by all above the black shade), and over that two cloths, one of which had cost sixty pounds. Her fair hair was combed in the form of a cone to the top of her head, and profusely ornamented with golden butterflies and devices; her shirt was fastened in front with four brooches, and a large golden button at the collar and each wrist; manillas encircled her arms half-way up to the elbow, and the most splendid chains were hung across her shoulders; every finger was covered with rings as far as the first joint; her cloth was girt round her hips, and on this girdle hung golden lions and other ornaments; her ankles were also laden, and every toe was decorated like her fingers. The two slaves who followed her into the room were also richly dressed, and each had a bandeau of English guineas round their heads, fastened together with pieces of gold wire. The workmanship of many of these ornaments is exquisite, and they sometimes represent musical instruments, bells, stools, &c., and many are imitated from European patterns . . .

    . . . It is a great piece of finery in a Fantee woman to walk about with an European parasol over her head, and I could never forbear smiling when I met these jetty ladies, shading their complexions as carefully from the sun as if they had been the fairest of blondes.

    24 All the decorations here mentioned are in strict keeping with the fashion of the country; the negro women emulate the Mulatto mode of dressing the hair, and, by dint of pulling, combing, and greasing, they make it tolerably smooth. The European ear-rings are often valued by way of variety; and I once gave the highest pleasure to a native woman, by presenting her with a pair of Mosaic workmanship: they represented the �Forget me not,� in every stage, from the bud to the dying petals; and she repeated my explanation of them, with evident pride at being the sole possessor of such a treasure. The blackening of the eyelids  is borrowed from the Moorish women who always keep a little bodkin-like case full of powdered lead, or antimony near them. The soolah tooth-picks come chiefly from Accra . . . and cause a slightly bitter taste; the rich women are scarcely ever without one, which they keep behind the ear, and they sit on a stool, by the hour together, rubbing their teeth and watching the children play, or directing their slaves in domestic operations. The coquetish little white patterns under the eye, are by no means unpleasing in effect, and are produced by dipping the blocks into liquid chalk, and applying them when wet to the skin. The shea tolu, or vegetable butter, comes from a very large tree, first made known to Europeans by the enterprising Mungo Park who brought a branch of it from Africa in his hat. It bears different names in the various parts of Africa in which it exists; but, in Fantee, as the butter alone is met with, it is called Ashantee grease. . .  It extends over a large portion of the continent, from Jaloff and Houssa to the latitude of the Gaboon, and, perhaps, even further.  It is an excellent article of food when quite fresh, and enters into almost all the dishes of the natives. If potted with salt it becomes rancid, but will otherwise keep its flavour for a long time. It is one of the finest cosmetics possible, and, without some such aid the skins of the negroes, constantly exposed to the sun, would crack and peel off in white scales. White people are always obliged to purchase it for their servants, as, when they omit doing so, such incessant recourse is had to the palm oil intended for the lamps, that, for the sake of their olfactory nerves, they are forced to procure some at any price . . . A servant from Booroom, to the north of Ashantee, told me, that her people bruise the nut, boil it in water till the oil rises to the top and then skim this off, and put it into calabashes to cool and harden. The celebrated French chemist, M. Chevreuil, analyzed it for me, and found it admirably adapted for the manufacture of soap; and from its being inodorous, it would be valuable for the finer sorts. It is highly capable of taking a perfume, as the beauties of Fantee always succeed in giving it the odour they desire.

    26 The line of succession in these Countries passes to the sister's son. Where the morals of females are so lax, as in these barbarous nations, it is argued that no one can feel certain of having one of his own race to succeed him, unless it be the son of a sister, in whom there must be a portion of the blood of the family.

    27 One of the superstitions of Fantee is, that slaves and very poor people, being unable to enter heaven on their own account, wander for ever round the fetish-houses, or religion temples, in a state of happy ease, free from all care and labour.

    The priests are supposed to have the power of working charms, for or against any one whom they please, which are called good or bad fetish, and no threat can be more feared than that of calling down the latter on the head of an offender.

    28 Hibiscus trionum. All the tribe of Malvace� are exquisitely beautiful in this part of Africa; and with these and other flowers, the women, when, at home, frequently deck their hair. A beautiful little black girl who came from a great distance in the interior waited on me, and was always dressed in a blue and white checked cloth, which came no further than just below her knees, that her well-formed legs might be seen, and shaving her head (which is a constant custom among the lower classes) all but one small tuft on the side, she used to stick one of the scarlet flowers of the Poinciana pulcherrima, or Barbadoes pride, in it and thus formed a sort of livery for herself and another attendant about the same age, who delighted in copying the pretty Beeah.

    The average value of an Ounce of gold is about four pounds sterling.

    The poorer classes believe, that to die with or for a great person, secures their entrance into heaven; and many have been known to die voluntarily, in order to be admitted into that paradise from which their poverty and inferior station have banished them.

    There is also a belief, that all the wealth buried with the dead accompanies them to the next world, and that the soul is blessed according to the value of the property it takes with it.

    The nearest relations of a deceased person never sleep inside a house for six weeks after the event.

    This is the usual mourning colour, but higher ranks, and royal personages, wear white cloths, painted with black designs; the dye for which is formed of fowls' blood, and the bark of a tree, of which I have forgotten the name. They spread this cloth on the ground, and, beginning at the top with a feather, they retreat on hands and knees as they fill up the space with the pattern.

    123 The black man or woman can never (generally speaking) be seen to greater advantage than in a sick room, where their patience and gentleness are exemplary, and their touch and step almost imperceptible. . .

    125 These accounts come from those who have marched in the slave kaffle, and even fall short of reality: my little Adua, from Booroom, was not quite so badly treated, for she was soon sold to the Ashantee King, from whom I received her.  She told me, that having met some of her countrymen on her way, she had sent a message to her mother to beg her to forward a ransom; but, added the child, �she no care for me, for she never buy me again
    132 Many have been the efforts, and great the zeal, expended on these poor people, and yet Christianity has made little or no progress in the Western part of Africa . . . It is a subject which has always deeply interested me, and I cannot forbear to offer a few comments concerning it.  We must first grant that these nations have all been, more or less, corrupted by that abominable traffic which was so long a disgrace to civilization. They have seen the worst of the Europeans, and their natural proneness to imitation, added to the idea which has in all ages existed of the superiority of the white man, has led them to adopt the manners of the Slave-traders.  It is a well-established fact, that one bad example will do far more harm than a good one will cause improvement; and, unfortunately, of these examples the very worst have been offered to the Western Negroes, I am sorry to say, even among those charged expressly with the task of enlightening them. I have heard them say, `Parson tell us black man more wicked, he no lub one anoder, and den Parson go home, beat his wife.� Added to this strongly operating cause, there is much mistaken zeal in the well disposed, which leads them to expect too much at once. It is a task of great difficulty even to teach a Negro to read; he quickly copies every thing which requires manual dexterity, he rapidly seizes on the form of every thing he beholds, and sooner learns to write than to read; for the moment he meets with words of a metaphysical nature, he vainly trys to attach a meaning to them. Very excellent people have thought when a Negro, by dint of application, has been enabled to read the Gospel fluently, they have given him an infallible means of conversion; but when we consider that the whole of his previous life has been spent in the gratification of sensual feelings, can it be wondered at that the mind must be prepared before any real impression can be made upon it? In consequence of the rapid mortality which took place at Cape Coast, and which was in after-years diminished by more temperate habits, and skilful medical officers, it was suggested that a coloured man should be educated in England for the chaplaincy. Accordingly, one named Quawquee, aged nineteen was taken from among the canoe-men. In the first place, it was injudicious to choose him from the worst set of men in the community; and, in the next he was too old but he was sent to England, christened, educated at Westminster, and, in a few years, ordained by the then Bishop of London. He returned to Cape Coast as the Rev. Philip Quawquee, and for some years performed the church service in his rooms at the Castle; he married a black woman, himself performing the Christian rites; his life was tolerably moral, and he was supposed to have no fear of death, and even to desire it, and he sent to England for a tombstone, properly inscribed with his name and profession. But the hour arrived which proves us all; and he sent for the old fetishwomen of Cape Coast, who smeared his doorposts with blood and eggs, practised every charm ever invented by African pagans and he died in the midst of their yells and incantations; his greatest consolation being that, according to his request, he should be buried in the spur of the fortress, and every one would see he had been parson Quawquee...
    . . . Another obstacle to conversion has also come under my observation; and it is that of giving a gloomy character to a religion which is to bless mankind. A Wesleyan missionary, with whom I was well acquainted, and who was one of the best men I ever saw had brought his followers into better order than the rest of their brethren; but their gloom and despondency was a melancholy contemplation and the tears and groans which attended their worship either showed they were hypocrites, or that religion was no comfort to them. Could it then be expected to last among a lively, thoughtless people, who had been much happier before Christianity had been offered to them? Certainly not; and one by one they relapsed into their former condition. A question naturally from the contemplation of all the endeavours hitherto made, for out of many there have been some well directed, and others zealously followed. Whether it be yet the time for the civilization of the Negro ? We can scarcely think it, when we see the zealous and kind Sir CharIes McCarthy, the firm, the judicious, and principled Mr. Hope Smith, pass away without having effected any change; when we see yet another, gifted with youth, temperance and judgment full of the acquirements of science and art, of cool courage, and inexhaustible resource in the hour of danger, well versed in the character and languages of the people, placing his most ardent wishes on, and sacrificing every other hope to, the amelioration of the African, carrying the spirit of the Cross into all his actions, when we see him, too, called away at the moment of entering upon, his self-imposed duties, we are, inclined to say the hour of God is not yet come for this benighted world!
    OTHER REFERENCES Arhin, Kwame (ed.) The Cape Coast and Elmina Handbook: Past, present and future, Inst. of African Studies, University of Ghana, 1995. Contains an essay by Kwame Arhin on Cape Coast and Elmina in Historical Perspective.
    Debrunner, Hans. W., A History of Christianity in Ghana, Accra 1967.

    Royal African, The. _The Royal African; or, Memoirs of the Young Prince of Annamaboe._ London: W. Reeve, c. 1750. 

    An account by a prince from Anomabo who describes the Gold Coast (18th century), his father the chief, how his brother went to France, how he was sold into slavery and then redeemed, and his reception in England as a prince