Queen Yaa Asantewaa
Collection: “The Return”
Queen Mother Nana Yaa Asantewaa was the queen mother of the Edweso tribe of the Asante (Ashanti) in what is now modern Ghana. At the time, the Gold Coast (west-central Africa) was under the British protectorate. When the Asante began rebelling against the British rule, the British attempted to put down the unrests, and demanded that the Asante people turn over to them the Golden Stool, i.e. the throne and a symbol of Asante independence.
At this time, Yaa Asantewaa was the Gatekeeper of the Golden Stool and refused to give in to the British. She led The Ashanti-British “War of the Golden Stool” with an army of 5,000. While Yaa Asantewaa was captured by the British and deported, her bravery stirred a kingdom-wide movement for the return of their leaders and for independence. Yaa Asantewaa’s dream for an Asante free of British rule was realized on March 6, 1957, when the Asante protectorate gained independence as part of Ghana. Ghana was the first African nation in Sub-Saharan Africa to achieve this feat.
Featuring mahogany red/black/white striped traditional Chek African trade beads, garnet gemstone beads, cowrie shells, and crystal glass beads.
Symbolism: Red brings passion, courage, and strength to your relationships, your life, your work, and your desires. It is aligned with change, revolution, and diligence. The color red also increases your metabolism and respiratory rate. Cowrie shells are known as the most successful and the best form of currency in the various regions of the world. the cowrie shells represent goddess protection which is highly powerful and is connected with the strength and power of the Ocean. The cowrie’s elegant shape represents the female form, its rounded top reminiscent of a pregnant woman’s belly. Thus it is a symbol of fertility. The slit on the underside of the shell can look like a black pupil against the pearly white surface, which is why it is often used to ward against the evil eye. Garnet is one of the oldest known gemstones. It removes and transforms negative energies to strengthen and heal the body and mind, and offers its wearer the power to protect their standing and possessions.
Each strand includes 5 loops, each designed to specifically include 15 beads and 1 cowrie shell. The cowrie shell represents Yaa Asantewaa and the remaining 15 beads circled around “her” represent 15 of her closest advisers captured with her, and sent into exile to the Seychelles. This strand is a part of “The Return Collection” inspired by Ayodele’s 2019 “Year of the Return” trip to Ghana, Africa. It represents the will, courage and strength to protect and fight for what’s right, collectively with those that you trust, and the importance never giving in to injustice.
Fit: Each strand wraps one time around the waist. For multiple strands, add desired number of pieces per style to your cart. (main photo includes 3 individual strands in total)
Length: Customized to your waist size, please provide desired length during checkout
Bead Size: medium-large