Ashanti’s Name

Boat names are generally imbued with meaning, history, superstition or some kind of witticism. Ashanti may be the name of a pop diva, but it is also the name of this boat and a people that Colin Aburrow holds dear to his heart. The following footnote to the building of Ashanti was written by Colin.

 "The name ASHANTI that I chose for the schooner I have built is a name from my youth.
 Ashanti is a nation in the West African country of GHANA. It has as its capital the city of KUMASI, and is about 300 kilometres from the coast.
  A few years after WWII and after his 'demob', my father was contacted by the British Government to teach at the technical schools in what was then known as 'The Gold Coast' and my memories of life there are so dear to me that I thought it appropriate to name my schooner after some thing, event or place that would evoke those enjoyable years of my life.
  We children did not have any formal schooling in Africa as there were very few schools that catered for white children and those which existed were at the major major towns on the coast. So the mothers of the white children organised our schooling amongst themselves. Generally we had "school" in the mornings and then after lunch we were off into the bush with our friends and African children.
  These early days of freedom and my carefree existence came to an end eventually when our parents decided we had to get a better education. At 11 years of age I had fallen behind the general standard of education in England for my age and I was sent back to England to attend boarding school.
  All good things come to an end at some time.
  The nation of ASHANTI was and I believe still is the strongest nation in West Africa. It is a matrilineal society as descent is through the female line. It has a king as head of the nation. There is a 'Golden Stool' that has much myth attached regarding its origins, but it is sacred to the nation and even the king does not sit on it.
  The golden stool was the cause of a fierce war between the Ashanti and the British forces in 1900 when the British Governor demanded the stool be brought out from hiding for him to sit on. So ill informed was the governor that he did not realise the extent of his insult. The British defeated the Ashanti people but at a great cost in lives.
  I felt that such a noble schooner as ASHANTI was the appropriate name for a noble vessel such as a schooner is."