CENTRE FOR NATIONAL CULTURE
As the pioneer cultural institution with the primary aim of preserving, protecting, promoting and projecting our rich cultural values and heritage, it was modelled to portray the three distinctive features of our Culture. These are;
- Folklore music/dance/drama
- The Arts & Craft
The Prempeh II Jubilee Museum
The historical aspect of our Culture is typified in the Prempeh II Jubilee Museum whose architectural design is fashioned as a replica/prototype Ashanti tradition palace consisting of four (4) chambers of buildings arranged in an enclose like a rectangular courtyard to which there is only one courtyard.
The Museum built in 1956 has the basic aim to collect, preserve and restore artifacts of historical and ethnographic importance. It therefore, provides an insight into the part and gives continued documentation of different periods of Ashanti history and a rectangular courtyard to which there is only one courtyard.
The Museum has the basic aim to collect, preserve and restore artifacts of historical and ethnographic importance. It therefore, provides an insight into the part and gives continued documentation of different periods of Asante history and affords information for research work.
Among the rare artifacts of the Museum are;
(a) The Asante war drum known as (ETWIE) in Twi. This fascinating war drum draped in leopard skin was used as secret weapon of Asante warriors. Whenever they went to war they took the drum to the battle field in the jungle. In the course of the battle those with the ear drums with a cuddle will scratch the surface of the drum with the cuddles. A deafening roaring sound of lions/leopards emanated from the jungle. The sound would frighten the enemies to think that wild cats were coming after them.
(b) A photocopv of the Golden Stool.This stool was made of brass and nicely coated with gold and given to the British. Since the British themselves had never seen the Golden Stool they accepted it for real. They only realized it was a fake when they melted off the gold on the Stool. This therefore gives credence to the claim by Ashanti that they did not lost the war fought with the British since they still have the original Golden Stool safely in their custody.
(c) The Independence Brass Pan of Asante. History tells us that before Asante became an empire or a Kingdom, they were subjects to an ethnic group in Ghana today called Denkyira. The Denkyira King, Ntim Gyakari; demanded annual homage/tribute paid him, will send the large Yawa, Ashanti will fill it with gold dust every year, and send it back to him.
Once in 1696, the Denkyira King sent the Yawa and also demanded on top of it, the favourite wives of the Asante King and Chiefs. This infuriated the Asantes and declared war into a bloody battle with the Denkyira people. The war was fought at “Feyiase” a town a few kilometers from Kumasi on the Lake Bosomtwi road.
Asante army defeated Denkyira army, captured the King Ntim Gyakari whilst sitting on the stool under a tree and playing a game of Oware with the wife. His head was chopped off.
The late Dr. Kyerematen saw and realized that Ghana’s rich Cultural Heritage was sadly and painfully being engulfed by foreign particularly Western Culture and there was the urgent need to preserve the Ghanaian Culture in a more concrete and monumental forms like Museums, Craft Villages, Cultural Centres among many others for posterity. Prempeh II and the Asanteman Council supported Dr. Kyerematen to give birth to the ‘Cultural Centre’ which was then christened the “Ashanti Cultural Centre”.
The name Ashanti Cultural Centre remained so until 1963, when Dr. Kwame Nkrumah who was then brimming with the spirit of Nationalism and also seeing the potential value of the Centre with the full support of the stakeholders nationalized the Centre and renamed it “Ghana National Cultural Centre”.
The Kumasi Centre is now called the Centre for National Culture, as indeed are the other Cultural Centres in the other Regions of Ghana. It is nonetheless considered as the show piece and model for the other Centres. This is due to its vastness coupled with the aesthetic andscenic beauty and the numerous facilities and structures.
Currently, the Centre is being manned by highly-trained and skilled professionals. The Directorate is made up of the Director, Deputy Directors and a Chief Accountant, being ably supported by a Management team of Heads of Departments and a dedicated and committed staff. This Award winning and well maintained Centre for National Culture in Kumasi is a must see by every visitor to Ghana.
The rich cultural heritage of Ghana stands out as envy of most countries. Visitors to the country are first struck by its valuable artistic features. This has made some foreigners refer to Ghana as the ‘Centre of Africa’ and the city and people that are widely recognized as the Centre and seat of the nations Cultural Heritage are Ashantis and Kumasi.
Performing Arts Department
This Department is responsible for the business of maintaining and sustaining the heritage of our people. It therefore has the following components.
- District Cultural Officers in all the Districts
- Amammereso Agofomma (Folkloric Troupe)
- Anokyekrom Concert Party
- Kyerematen Playhouse
- Anokye Players
- Palace Players
- Amammereso Choral Group
- Amammereso Youth Choir
These groups perform and entertain the many important visitors who come to the Centre regularly, keep and preserve the pure and unadulterated drumming and dancing forms of the people, make performing groups available at moderate fees, to individuals, institutions who want to hire such groups for social functions such as funerals and other ceremonial occasions. The District Cultural Officers are the foot-soldiers who do the actual researching into our various Cultural practices, document them and groom budding artistes among others.
Visual Art Department
This Department is in charge of the maintenance and preservation of our tradition art forms and contemporary art and craft. As part of its core business it is responsible for:
- Demonstrational activities
- Offers employable skills to both skilled and unskilled people
- Offers attachment programmes for students, particularly for tertiary institutions
- Organizers exhibitions for artists and craftsmen.
- Venturing into production to meet the growing demand for art and craft products.
The Department is made up of the following sections:
- Broadloom Weaving
- Traditional Kente Weaving
- Pottery and Ceramics
- Batik, Tie & Dye and Sewing
This Department is headed by the Chief Accountant. Under his jurisdiction are:
- The Accounts Office
- The Cash Office
- The Centre’s Craft shop
- Drinking Bar
The Craft shop, Drinking Bar and the Bookshop are income generating areas for the Centre. The Department is, therefore, responsible for the sound and judicious use of the various incomes generated to generate more income.
The Administration Department forms the nerve centre of the Cultural Centre around which the various departments/sections mentioned evolve and operate. It has the major responsibility of seeing to the smooth and efficient running of the Centre.
Sections Under The Department
- Records Office/Registry
- Research and Publicity (Museum)
- Private Secretary
- Typing Pool
Address: P.O. Box KS 3085, Kumasi-Ashanti, Ghana.
Telephone: 051-22421 0r 051-22822 or 051-22633