Asanteman Association of New Jersey Showcases its Culture at Inauguration

Asante culture was at its best on May 25, 2019, when the Asanteman Association of New Jersey celebrated the enstoolment and swearing-in ceremony of its leaders.

The elaborate cultural extravaganza that took place at Christ the King’s Church, Hillside, NJ, was well attended by guests from around the country and beyond.

The Ahenema Cultural Group set the pace for the evening with traditional drumming and dancing to usher in traditional rulers from New Jersey, New York, Colorado, Ohio, Texas, and several other places.

The New York–based cultural ensemble was complemented by a local DJ. The room was regally decorated and all wore Ghanaian attire. However, the chiefs to be sworn in wore black clothes, which is customary for royal enstoolments.

A large part of the evening consisted of welcoming traditional leaders – kings, queens, and chiefs from other ethnicities of Ghana who reside in the State of New Jersey as well as local and outside traditional leaders of Asante people.

The crescendo of culture came when a procession of a large retinue that consisted of two emissaries of the King of Asante Otumfuo Osei Tutu II – Nana Adusei Atwenewa Ampem and Nana Agyemang Badu – entered the hall amidst charged drumming and dancing.

As tradition demands, the retinue went around the room to greet before being seated at the dais.

The two emissaries, led by Nana Adusei Atwenewa Ampem, paramount chief of Tepa Traditional, and Nana Agyemang Badu, Otumfuo’s Atipimhene, wore black mourning clothes. The energy in the room was palpable.

Once seated, a libation was offered that asked for, among other things, peace, blessings, wisdom, and good health for the yet-to-be chief of the Asanteman Association of New Jersey and his sub-chiefs.

Before the swearing-in, some chiefs offered words of wisdom and caution to the new leader as he embarks on his role to lead the Asanteman Association of New Jersey.

Heaving his wrap-around clothes lower to show a bare chest – as a symbol of humility – before Nana Adusei Awenewa Ampem and other traditional rulers, the soon-to-be leader held a ceremonial sword (afena) with both hands and raised it up to the heavens.
He then lowered the sword to the ground and made the sign of the Cross on the ground, to signify the power of the Omnipotence. The sub-chiefs also swore the Oath of Allegiance.

With a praenomen of Otafregya, the new chief is now known as Nana Otafregya Opoku Frimpong.

Special guests included Hon. Simon Osei-Mensah, Ashanti Regional Minister; Rev. Dr. Eleanor Moody-Shephard, Professor (Emerita) of Women Studies; Rev. Dr. Wanda Lundy, Assistant Professor of Mission Studies and Director of the Center for World Christianity, both of the New York Theological Seminary, and Her Lordship Ellen Edwards, a Brooklyn Criminal Court Judge.

by AKOSUA OFORIWAA-AYIM

Categories: Asanteman, Diaspora

About Author