Yaa Asantewaa and the Asante-British War of 1900-1

Yaa Asantewaa and the Asante-British War of 1900-1

A. Adu Boahen


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James Currey



Draws on contemporary documents and oral testimony to give an Asante perspective on the war.
The Asante-British War of 1900-01 is known outside Ghana as the war of the 'Golden Stool'. In Ghana it is known as the Yaa Asantewaa War, after the Queen of Edweso who was its principal inspiration. But while her leadership has been acknowledged in the scholarly literature, up to now her precise role in the war has been unexamined.
The eminent Ghanaian historian, A. Adu Boahen, remedies this oversight in this account written for the centenary of the war. With their king and many leading chiefs already in exile, the Asante faced a new crisis in 1900 with the British Governor's demands for additional tribute and the symbolic Golden Stool. It was Nana Yaa Asantewaa who rallied Asante resistance with 'her fiery and provocative speeches and gender-conscious challenges'.

A. ADU BOAHEN was Professor Emeritus of History, University of Ghana (Legon), fellow of the Ghana Academy of Arts & Sciences

North America: Michigan State University Press; Ghana: Sub-Saharan Publishers


November 2003
8 black and white, 2 line illustrations
192 pages
21.6x13.8 cm
ISBN: 9780852554432
Format: Paperback
James Currey
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...presents her as a feisty, small-built woman, aged about sixty in 1900, who was one of the main instigators of the war ...and the principal war leader. ARAS Australia
Boahen has done well to extol the virtues of this extraordinary woman, showing beyond doubt that she came to exercise a quite decisive influence on the course of the war even if the extent to which she herself actually engaged in combat remains moot. - Ivor Wilks in JOURNAL OF AFRICAN HISTORY
There has long been a need for the definitive story of Yaa Asantewaa, the famed Queen Mother of Kumasi, who was the inspirational leader behind the great Asante war of resistance of 1900-01 against British domination. This need has now been met in a fine biography by the doyen of Ghanaian historians, A Adu Boahen, writing with the assistance of one of his former students, Emmanuel Akyeampong. ... In addition to its being an excellent biography of a great woman, this is the best book on Yaa Asantewaa War to-date. It is Boahen's overarching thesis, and a major revision over most previous mainstream accounts, that this conflict was no mere rebellion against colonial rule but rather the Asante War of Independence. .... This is a well-researched, well reasoned and finely written book, which will long stand as the standard treatment of the great Queen Mother, Yaa Asantewaa, and the Asante-British War of 1900-01. - Raymond E Dumett in THE HISTORIAN

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