Osei Kofi Tutu I (c. 1660 – c. 1717) was one of the founders of the Ashanti Empire, aided by Okomfo Anokye, his chief priest and distant relative. The Asante are an Akan ethnic group of West Africa. Osei Tutu led an alliance of Asante states against the regional hegemon, the Denkyira, completely defeating them. Then, through force of arms and diplomacy, he induced the rulers of the other Asante city-states to declare allegiance to Kumasi, his capital. Throughout his career he was politically advised by Anokye, a cleric whose spiritual authority over the people aided in his founding of the empire.

He ruled the Kumaseman State between c.1680/c.1695-1701 (he was definitely Kumasehene by 1695) and he ruled the Ashanti Empire from late 1701-c.1717.

The Empire of Asante was officially formed in 1701 and Osei Tutu was crowned Asantehene (King of all Ashanti). He would hold that position until his death in 1717 in a battle against the Akyem. Osei Tutu was the fourth ruler in Asante royal history, succeeding his uncle Obiri Yeboa. The Asante comprise the largest contingent of the Akan Twi-speaking peoples. Akan societies are matrilineal, with a person belonging to the abusua of his mother. Inheritance, succession and status are lineally determined. Osei Tutu belonged to the Oyoko Abusua.




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