Asante Traditional Buildings – UNESCO Heritage in Ghana

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Asante Traditional Buildings are the collection of 13 traditionally built buildings which are the last material remains of the great Asante civilization, which reached its high point in the 18th century. Since the dwellings are made of earth, wood and straw, they are vulnerable to the onslaught of time and weather. Between 1960 and 1970 the buildings were acquired by the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board. In 1980, listed in UNESCO World Heritage list.

Location

It is located at Besease, about 20 km to the north-east of Kumasi and Patakro, to the south.

About Asante Traditional Buildings

1. The buildings include ten shrines/fetish houses. Arranged around courtyards, the buildings are constructed of timber, bamboo and mud plaster and originally had thatched roofs. The unique decorative bas-reliefs that adorn the walls are bold and depict a wide variety of motifs. Common forms include spiral and arabesque details with representations of animals, birds and plants, linked to traditional “Adinkra” symbols. As with other traditional art forms of the Asante, these designs are not merely ornamental, they also have symbolic meanings, associated with the ideas and beliefs of the Asante people, and have been handed down from generation to generation.

2. The buildings, their rich colour, and the skill and diversity of their decorations are the last surviving examples of a significant traditional style of architecture that epitomized the influential, powerful and wealthy Asante Kingdom of the late 18th to late 19th centuries. Asante Traditional Buildings reflect and reinforce a complex and intricate technical, religious and spiritual heritage.

3. The traditional religion, still practiced in the Asante shrines, takes the form of consulting with the deities to seek advice on specific situations, or before an important initiative. That is why the shrines have been maintained complete with all their symbolic features.

4. The present appearance of the buildings and their architectural form is largely authentic in terms of reflecting their traditional form and materials, although many have been largely reconstructed. In 12 out of the 13 buildings the original steeply pitched palm-frond thatched roof has been replaced by lighter, shallower-pitched, corrugated iron roofs, and in all the buildings there has been the insertion of more durable paved flooring than the traditional rammed earth.

Best Time to Visit

If you are planning a Travel to Ghana then the best times to visit Kumasi for ideal weather are late July based on average temperature and humidity. The best time to visit Ghana is between November – March, when there is little to no rainfall, and every part of the country is easily accessible.

 

 

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