Last week I tried to visit the Asante Traditional Buildings WHS. Due to the scarce information on the Unesco website, it is not easy to find out what or where they are.
Below are my findings that I have collected during and in preparation of this trip. Thanks to Solivagant for the first research!How many locations are included?
The Advisory Body Evaluation has names of 12 locations.
The Bradt Travel Guide mentions "10 (UNESCO) inscribed shrines", as well does the on site exhibition at Besease Shrine and this semi-official website: http://ashantibuildings.org/.
The original nomination document
by Ghana (dated 1978) names 13 locations! Which locations are included?
The 13 locations of the original nomination are:
The AB evaluation has the same list, minus Besease. It sometimes uses a slightly different spelling for the sites, and has an unexplained (2) behind Patakro.
Bradt etc. names a subset of the 13 above, including Besease.
So what happened to the original 13? Has the number of designated locations been reduced to 12 or even 10 by ICOMOS or the WHC? Besease seems the odd one out, but it is also the most prominent and accessible example of the architectural style (and the only one still with a traditional thatched roof, as far as I'm aware). It could even be a typo in the AB evaluation.Where are they and what can be seen?
Abirim - No info in Bradt at all. But there are photos of "Abirem Temple" at http://www.flickr.com/photos/imknowmadic2/sets/72157601506642446/
(only the first 7 pics).
Its location is on the Maplandia map http://www.maplandia.com/ghana/ashanti/kwabre/abirem/
. It appears to be virtually in Kumasi (NE) near the place of Pankron shown on the Bradt map of Greater Ashanti
Abetifi - No info in Bradt. The Maplandia map shows a place called Abetefi a fair way east of Kumasi on the road to Accra http://www.maplandia.com/ghana/eastern/abefiti/abetifi/
.I found this photo too http://www.flickr.com/photos/imknowmadic2/2653074403/
. As it is called "Kwahu.....Abetifi " I think this does indeed confirm that the place is in the Kwahu area NE of Nkawkaw
Adwenease - Presumably is what is called "Edwanase" in Bradt?? Described as Kusia Kwame Shrine on page 317. Photos are at http://www.flickr.com/photos/imknowmadic2/sets/72157601506642446/
(a group of pics almost at the end of this page, use the mouseover function of your browser to see the text).
Akokoanbong - No info - could this be "Apiakrom"??
Asawase - The Fetish house is described in FULL detail in this 1971 ICOMOS document here http://www.international.icomos.org/monumentum/vol8/vol8_5.pdf
. This document describes its location as "The village of Asawasi is situated near Ejisu which is a larger village some eleven miles from Kumasi on the Kumasi-Accra Highway. Asawasi lies about 2 1/2 miles off the higway and is accessible from Ejisu by an untarred road." Due to its geographical location, it can be presumed that this is "Besease". However, the photos and description do not match with the current reality of Besease (which has very steep roofs, and no round arches)
Asenmaso - Presumably what is called "Asenemaso" in Bradt - West of Kumasi. Described on page 312.
Besease - located just east of Ejisu (20 km from Kumasi), is now kind of a museum (though with a fetish priest). See my trip report at http://www.worldheritagesite.org/sites/ashanti.html
Bogyease - Presumably what is called "Bodwease" in Bradt. Situated quite a long way NE of Kumasi beyond Effiduase and described on page 321. See http://ashantibuildings.org/heritage.php?id=2
for pics and info.
Darkwa Jachie - Presumably what is called "Aduko Jachie" in Bradt as it is situated near a village called "Jachie". Photos at http://www.flickr.com/photos/imknowmadic2/sets/72157601506642446/?page=2
(use the mouse over to see which ones).
Kentenkrono - Presumably is what is called "Kentikronu" in Bradt (and on Touring Ghana - http://www.touringghana.com/html/ashantiregion.html
) - situated close to Kumasi due east near Royal Basin hotel
Patokro - Situated 85kms south of Kumasi near the gold mining town of Obuasi -described on page 289 in Bradt. See http://ashantibuildings.org/heritage.php?id=3
for pics and intro. Or at http://www.flickr.com/photos/imknowmadic2/sets/72157601506642446/
(the final 6 of this group of photos).
Obomeng - no info. The only "Obomeng" mentioned is a town near to Nkawkaw a fair way due east of Kumasi on the road to Accra.
Saamang - Just NE of Kumasi. See http://ashantibuildings.org/heritage.php?id=4
for pics and intro.