We are often asked what the name of our boat means.
Ashanti is the name of an African tribe. 1.5 million people live in Southern Ghana in Africa and their
roots can be traced back to the 13th Century. They are world famous gold smiths, but in the 16th century
they were wealthy slave traders. Ashanti folklore and mythology can be found in the Southern US as
well as in Jamaican folklore. Many African Americans are of Ashanti descent.
There is a legend that a Golden Stool, containing the souls of all Ashantis, descended from heaven and
rested on the knees of their first king. The stool has never been sat on and its legs have never touched
the ground, resting on an animal skin instead.
They also have a special fertility doll, Akua ba that is given to females in the village so they may be
blessed with children.
Very big umbrellas made of silk or other rich fabrics are used to announce the arrival of a chief. They can
be seen from far away. That is why we took the picture of me holding an umbrella over Elmar,
announcing the arrival of my ‘Ashanti chief’.
Shortly after we had arrived in Owen Sound we sat in our cockpit, tied to our dock, when a young man
came to admire the boat. The boat’s name had drawn him to us. He told us that he was an Ashanti.
What a wonderful moment that was for us, to meet a genuine Ashanti.