Angela Danso Gyane

The Nana Yaa Asantewaa War: Analysis of the Political Institutions of the Asante during The War Of The Golden Stool and the Existing Narratives

March 31, 2021   /  

Student Name: Angela Danso Gyane
Major(s): History, Political Science- International Relations
Advisor: Dr. Ibra Sene, Dr. John Valdez

Dr. Josephine Wright Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award

The War of the Golden Stool was the last in the Anglo-Asante Wars, where the Asante fought against the British colonial agenda. According to the Asante oral history, Nana Yaa Asantewaa was at the forefront of this war. She was the commander, but most of the literature to not reflect this oral history. Therefore, this study seeks to address two essential questions: how did gender dynamics in the Asante Kingdom’s political system shape their Resistance against the British in 1900- 01? Moreover, how does the analysis of oral histories from the matrilineal culture of the Asante decenter Western narratives of the War of the Golden Stool and reinterpret the war’s impact by centering the Nana Yaa Asantewaa’s climb to power in 1900? These are questions that the literature leaves wanting as it fails to center Nana Yaa Asantewaa and the critical role she played in the War of the Golden Stool. While utilizing Asante oral histories such as Nwonkoro (Songs), dance, and storytelling, this study will address these questions to decolonize the war literature. This paper hypothesizes that the patriarchal system’s complicated gender dynamics, the Queen-mother’s critical position, and her post-menopausal age in the Asante Kingdom gave way for Nana Yaa Asantewaa to lead the Resistance against the British. Furthermore, that due to the anomalies which occurred leading up to and during the war of the Golden Stool- fragmentation of the confederation, the hole in the power structure, and the presence of a woman at the emergency meeting-Nana Yaa Asantewaa were able to use the already established governmental system that allows for her to have a certain amount of power in politics. Using the methodological framework based on Aidoo (1977), this paper seeks to fill in some of the literature’s discrepancies by exploring gender, leadership, and colonial scholarship as it exists now.


This is an oral history presentation that tells the story of Nana Yaa Asantewaa. It showcases Oral history sources from songs to dances. It is performed in both Twi and English. This is presented to fulfill the Alternative Independent Study component of my Independent Study.

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Angela will be online to field comments on April 16: Noon-2 pm EDT (PST 9am-11am, Africa/Europe: early evening)

111 thoughts on “The Nana Yaa Asantewaa War: Analysis of the Political Institutions of the Asante during The War Of The Golden Stool and the Existing Narratives”

  1. Angela – Wow! What an accomplishment! I am in awe of your ability to both conduct a rigorous interdisciplinary study and also bring your vision of a performance of the oral history to fruition. Congratulations.

  2. Congratulations and Awesome job with this piece! This was really interesting to watch and I am intrigued to learn more about how this history was portrayed and how your discussions help to bridge the gap between what was written down and what it might have actually been.

    1. Thank you very much. That was actually what led me to conduct this research in the first place. There were such differences that were hard to ignore between the oral histories and the literature.

  3. Congratulations on this amazing I.S. and your award. Best of luck with the next chapter of life, post Wooster!

  4. Awesome! Because of your passionated voice, I watched the video all the way through even when I did not understand the language. This is an artwork!

  5. Congrats Angela on your Symposium Award! Your work is very interesting. Thank you for your video!

  6. Angela, what an incredible project. As a public historian, I so appreciate and admire what you did with your IS, especially the fact that you included a performance of oral history. Wishing you all the best. Incredible work.

  7. This is a wonderful project Angela! It is a really effective presentation of some important and original research.

  8. Wonderful project! I think that the incorporation of the oral history performance in an amazing piece of public scholarship. I continue to be impressed by your work.

    1. Thank you very much. And its wonderful to know that all the times I annoyed you in class has not chased you away *insert laughter*

  9. Congratulations, Angela! What a wonderful project. I was captivated throughout and loved hearing you sing. Wishing you many great things as you move on to your next chapter. It has been an honor to get to know you.

  10. Wow Angela – this is remarkable! The world needs more creative, deep thinkers like you. Congratulations – can’t wait to hear about what you do next!

    1. Thank you very much. And I also can’t wait to hear what I do next. *insert sigh* as I get into the unemployment line. *insert Laughter*

  11. Great work, Angela! I love seeing your performance!

    Was there anything in your research that surprised you?

    1. Thank you very much. And the one thing that struck me the most was how much the Asante centered women in all the oral histories. I was told more about the women of Asante in most cases more than the men, even though it was still a patriarchal society. While of course, most of the literature provided just the opposite.

  12. I am a high school counselor tuning in to IS at Wooster today and I am marveling, Angela, at what you accomplished. The scope, the performance and the meaningfulness are remarkable. I confess that I possessed only marginal (adjective chosen deliberately) knowledge of your topic and am now inspired to learn as much as I can. Having grown up in a predominantly white community in the 50s and 60s, I learned virtually nothing about the rich history of non-whites–and what I did learn was blanched. Thank you for bringing this forward–may you have a great life!

    1. Thank you very much. I am honored to have the opportunity to showcase this in the first place.

  13. Wow Angela, this is amazing! I love how you have shared this history through your own voice, in speech and song. Congratulations on the well-deserved award, and we wish you all the best in your pursuits beyond Wooster!

  14. Angela, I loved everything about this and your stage presence is remarkable! It was an honor to share the stage with you during African Drumming Ensemble. Again, a great I.S. and an amazing alternative component.

  15. Brilliant work Angela. Forgive me for my ignorance, but how did the post-menopausal age of the Queen-mother give way to Nana Yaa Asantewaa? In addition, how often does the age of the Queen-mother affect Asante politics?

    1. First off, I would recommend you read the full I.S once its out on Open works cause this is pretty much most of my thesis. But in short form, since women’s menses are both sacred (for child rearing), but disruptive for some spiritual ceremonies, women who are post-menopausal can be regarded as men. Therefore, they get all the privileges of a matrilineal society as well as the privileges of an patriarchy. I hope that answered your questions.

  16. Congrats Angela on your award and your work especially the stage piece was so creative and amazing!!! So proud of you!!!

  17. Angela, this is amazing! It is nice to see the analysis behind the history of the great woman leader, Nana Yaa Asantewaa.

  18. This is such an incredible project, Angela! Congratulations on your well earned success – I can’t wait to see what you’ll do in the future.

  19. Angela, those many late nights and loss of sanity really payed off. I love your research, your presentation, and your willingness to tackle a difficult topic!

    Thanks for allowing me to learn something new, and Congratulations!

  20. Congratulations Angela, on the completion of IS and the award! The oral history was beautiful and I am so glad you decided to take on that component and share it. I loved it all! You continue to inspire and teach us all 🙂

    1. Congratulations Angela!!
      I’m really proud of you. In fact you nailed it all in your performance.
      This is phenomenal! Indeed, the future is bright.
      More power to your elbow for the journey ahead.
      Congratulations once again for the Revelation and making us proud!

  21. Congratulations Angela! It was very interesting and engaging, even if I did not understand. Your passion is very obvious! Congratulations on your award!!

  22. Angela, this is amazing and impressive. I loved that you performed the oral history. I am so honored to have worked with you and gotten to know you over the course of the year.

    1. Thank you very much. And it has also been a great pleasure to know you as well Madame President.

  23. Congratulations, Angela! I know all of the hard work and dedication that you’ve put into this project this year. This was a super ambitious endeavor, and you pulled it off–excellent work.

  24. Whoa, such passion, such elegance! Thanks for representing GH, spreading our history and making it a very engaging experience!
    Congrats for the award! You deserve it!!

    1. Thank you very much. You know we always have to represent *insert laughter*

  25. Congratssss Angelaaaa!! So so proud of you for completing such a fantastic project! I really enjoyed your oral history presentation.

  26. This is such a fantastic project, Angela! It truly brought me joy to see the final product after hearing about the process of researching and writing it this semester. The oral history was just so exciting to listen to and watch!

    As so many have already said, congratulations on the award as well! You very much deserve it.

    1. Thank you very much for sitting through all my rants through out the semester, they served me very well in my process.

  27. Wow, Angela, I am blown away – what an amazing way to showcase the research you did for I.S. Thank you for all the hard work you do in Scot Council and I appreciate you giving me (and others) the opportunity to learn about this important history.

    1. Thank you very much, and thanks also for your leadership in Scot Council.

  28. Hi Angela! Your performance was amazing. It’s so cool that you’re keeping this history alive. Congratulations on the award!

  29. I loved your work. There are so many forms to history telling, and I really appreciate the level of time, talent, and consideration you put into presenting and investigating the influence of Nana Yaa Asantewaa as well as the relationship between gender and leadership.

    1. Thank you very much. I am truly honored to even have the opportunity and support to do it in the first place.

  30. Thank you, Angela! I love what you’ve done – this is creative, boundary-breaking, interdisciplinary work. And meaningful. I’m thankful to learn the story of Nana Yaa Asantewaa. Well done!

  31. BRAVA, Angela! What a beautiful presentation of this history. So well deserving of the award!

  32. You already know how impressed I am with your work. Absolutely amazing and great presentation. Congratulations on your award as well.

  33. Excuse me, she sings?! Amazing work Angela, excited for your success and I absolutely cannot wait to see what the future holds for you!

  34. This is a remarkable thesis topic, and reaffirms the need for renewed scholarship to examine gender politics and colonial resistance against the British. Thank you, Angela, for sharing this material. While the circumstances of Nana Yaa Asantewaa were unique, I had to draw parallels to the brave women at the forefront of the Indian resistance against British colonial rule- the Rani of Jhansi, Ahalyabai Holkar and others. I would love to read and learn more about this topic.

    1. Thanks so much, and I think what makes these significant is that women have always had great impacts throughout history that we ignore especially during colonial time.

  35. Awesome work, as usual, Angela! So creative and a wonderful way to mix genres to tell such an important story. And the performance was powerful!

    1. Thank you very much Dr. Garcia and I have learned so much from you this past year. You truly inspire me.

  36. Congratulations, Angela! This is such a powerful and compelling performance. What a wonderful way to bring your IS research to this audience! Thank you so much for all of the great things you have done at Wooster. You have made a tremendous impact here, in ways that will last long after you graduate.

    Wishing you all the very best for the future!

    1. Thank you so much Madame President, I have learned a lot from you these past four years, and I am more than excited about you commenting on my Symposuim.

  37. Angela, this is an incredible accomplishment. The investments in oral history, dance, song, music… so impressive. Congratulations!

    1. Thank you so much. I just feel bad for my dance teacher cause man was I a horrible student.

  38. My love, you are killing the game. Representing Babcock 2nd floor real well here 🙂 maybe I should have slept in the lounge……….
    I am so so proud of you and congratulations on your success!

  39. Angela, this is amazing! You’ve grown so beautifully into a fantastic scholar and I’m so impressed by your IS. Thank you so much for sharing your fabulous IS here. Miss seeing you around and can’t believe it was almost four years ago we were scared first years just beginning to dive into feminist studies together. 🙂

  40. That’s my star star girl!!! Ayeeko! Mebõá w’abaáso! Ani gye ho; me dɔ wo nanso wotan me <3 😉

    1. what a woow, twi na wo twrɔ ne saa no??? eii hwan na ɔkakyer33 wo s3 metan wo??? but Medaase anyway.

  41. I remember when this project was just an idea, it’s beautiful to see it fully realized. You are so talented Angela!

  42. Congratulations, Angela. This was such a fantastic project. And it’s such a joy to see it come to fruition after meeting you last Spring as it was beginning! Thank you for sharing these important stories.

  43. Wow, what a project! Congratulations. That was fantastic. You’ve really demonstrated your root and how things went with the golden stool. Very proud of you.

  44. Great project, Angela! I am so grateful to have learned so much from you in the past few years. I hope you have some great plans for investigating this topic in the future!

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