The British empire conquered the powerful Ashanti Kingdom in 1874 after several wars in what is today Ghana. The palace of the then-Asantehene (meaning Asante king), Otumfuo Nana Kofi Karikari and the private homes of other royals were ransacked.
“The purpose of the war was to free some British captives for gold and for free trade at the coastal areas because the Asante people were making things difficult for the British at that time,” Osei-Bonsu Safo-Kantanka, a Ghanaian monarchical historian and teacher, tells The Africa Report.
Some of the items stolen were masks and busts made from pure gold, necklaces, bracelets of gold, coral ornaments, swords, caps mounted in solid gold, knives set in gold and silver, bags of gold dust and nuggets, sandals and stools set in gold, carved stools mounted in silver, calabashes worked in silver and in gold, among many other priceless items.
There’s more to this story
Get unlimited access to our exclusive journalism and features today. Our award-winning team of correspondents and editors report from over 54 African countries, from Cape Town to Cairo, from Abidjan to Abuja to Addis Ababa. Africa. Unlocked.
Already a a subscriber