Residents of Kumasi in Ghana will be placed under ‘curfew’ today to allow for the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, and the Asantehemaa, Nana Ama Konadu, to send an abusua kuruwa family or clan pot) from Manhyia to the ancestral home at Breman, a distance of about eight kilometres.
By Asante custom and usage, no one, apart from members of the royal family, is allowed to view the abusua kuruwa.
The curfew starts from 9 p.m. today to 5 a.m. on Sunday, and according to the Manhyia Palace, “all must observe”.
The age-old tradition of carrying the pot, which is a specially decorated form of domestic pottery, occupies a significant part in rituals for Asante kings and queen mothers. It is a symbol of unity of the royals of the Golden Stool.
Typically, the abusua kuruwa is used during funerals but they can also be used to store traditional medicines.
The hairs and fingernails of royals are collected anddeposited in it as a sign of cleansing and matrilineal unity, and for the ancestors to maintain a spiritual bond with their families.
After the journey to Breman, the royalty will drop the black and red mourning attire, which they have worn since they started going to the village of the Asantehemaa, and put on white apparels.
In line with strict customary practice, the carrying of the abusua kuruwa was preceded yesterday by the consecration of the black stool of the departed queen mother, Nana Afia Kobi Serwaa Ampem II.
It took place in private and was meant to exorcise the spirit of the late queen mother from all the gold ornament she used when she occupied the stool. Otumfuo Osei Tutu II will sit in state at Bogyawe, Manhyia Palace, this morning to welcome the consecrated stool of the late queen mother, who was also his biological mother.
Today will be the second time Otumfuo Osei Tutu II will be carrying the abusua kuruwa.
In March 2000, he and the then queen mother, Nana Afia Kobi II, carried it to Breman during the final funeral rites of his predecessor, Otumfuo Opoku Ware II.
End of fast
Kumasi has been a scene of activities as Asanteman bids final farewell to its revered queen mother who died in 2016 and was aged 111.
Yesterday marked the end of a fasting period for the funeral and by tradition, the Asantehene distributed foodstuffs and firewood to mourners who fasted.