Akan Leadership Arts

by Doran Ross
Formerly Fowler Museum, UCLA

Okyeame poma (counselor’s staff), Kumase, Asante, Ghana, 1981. Photo by Doran H. Ross.

A number of staffs extol the virtues of cooperative efforts for the successful functioning of the state. The staff on the screen from the Asantehene's treasury depicts two leaves against each other, which represent the proverb, “Two leaves put together become thick [strong].” In the same vein is a staff with three human heads illustrating the phrase, “One head does not go into counsel,” emphasizing the need for the chief to consult his elders and advisors.