A guide to types

This section is intended as an overview and quick guide to identifying the main types and designs of Asante gold royal regalia.

Given that similar types of objects function within the same contexts and dates of manufacture are unknown, this catalogue is arranged by form (e.g. disc pendant), function (e.g. necklace, finger-ring) and then chronologically by date of acquisition with a few deviations in order to group certain objects together.

Each category is further sub-divided on the basis of stylistic design and outside origins and/or influence where this is known. A full listing of categories is provided below; these correspond with the descriptions given in part I of this essay.




Details of decoration, motifs and symbols are provided in the description field and the names of the artefacts, where known, are given in brackets in Twi (the language spoken by the Akan peoples of Ghana). Details of whether disc pendants and disc beads are uni-facial or bi-facial are also recorded in the description field, as are the different techniques of manufacture, e.g. lost wax cast. Measurements are provided in centimetres and weight in grams.


The place where an object was made is recorded as place (e.g. Kumase) and, if known, the site where it was found is recorded as findspot (e.g. royal palace).



In respect of all items, including those acquired during the three Asante wars, details of the reigning Asantehene at the time of acquisition are given in the catalogue entries. Links are provided to brief biographical details. It should be noted these artefacts probably pre-date the acquisition date, in some cases by many years. Some dates are preceded by a ‘?’ which indicates that an approximate date is given.