Kwahu Manhene’s Palace

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The Ghanaian government recognises the moral, socio-cultural and political authority of chiefs (the traditional rulers). Since the creation of the State of Ghana, there have been various acts of parliament and decrees aimed at defining and guaranteeing the chiefs functions. A 1972 decree ratified the creation of a national House of Chiefs, which heads the regional association of the traditional rulers. In consequence, the chiefs in all the regions hold responsibilities at various levels in the traditional local councils. They serve as government consultants, notably on matters concerning revisions of customary law, and acquisition of land for development. In his community, a chief enjoys the rank of importance corresponding to his personal worth. Ideally, he remains the social and political leader and is responsible for organizing the development of his town, area or region in conformity of course, with the national planning scheme. In some cases he occupies an eminent position in the major state agencies, thereby forming an efficient link between the government and the populations in the promotion of peace and stability. Over the years, traditional institutions have taken different directions and dimensions as a result of constantly changing needs of the society, politically, socially and economically. The design of a chief’s palace thus needs to create an effective impact on the people with a new type of architecture which should reflect the aspirations of the people and their culture as well as promote tourism of the country. This can only be appreciated by identifying culture and traditions of a people. The decision to choose such a topic for this thesis presentation arouse out of the realization of the importance of the Kwahu traditional state, especially, ABENE the paramount seat of the Kwahuman. The Kwahu’s takes credit for being the best and successful traders and general merchants in the commercial field of the country, contributing immensely to National Economy. Due to the government’s decision to make chiefs instrumental in the current economic recovery programme; the Kwahu Manhene, should be considered as a vital instrument in the above, because he commands all the chiefs in the Kwahu traditional area. Meeting his needs and putting him in a position to effectively serve the needs of the Kwahu people becomes a first step in the right direction of general development. The Kwahu Manhene presently occupies a palace which is a apology of what should actually be the Kwahu Manhene’s palace. A befitting palace is a prime importance - one that would depict the importance of the Kwahu stool and also functionally suit and serve the activities of the palace is much desired.
A thesis submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the award of Postgraduate Diploma in Architecture, 1996