In What is recorded in history as the Empire of Asante’s most fatal war since its formation, the battle of Katamanso proved that even the mighty Asante kingdom was not invincible.
The Asantehene Nana Osei Yaw Akoto had amassed an army of 40,000 and vowed to punish the “Akra” people by literally chasing them into the belly of the “kanfra” (a small fish in the ocean).
The Asantehene was furious because the people of Accra had been part of an alliance of local chiefs who had aided the British, Denkyira and Fantis in resisting an Asante advance on Cape Coast in July 1824.
To face the marauding Asante army, an alliance of British, along with Ga -Adangbe, Fanti, Denkyira, Akwamu and Akyems faced the Asante at Katamanso, in a battle that ended Asante dominance over many southern and coastal nations and contributed to the rise of British power and prestige on the coast.
Interestingly, the Akyems were led in battle by Nana Afia Dokuaa, the Okyehene and only woman who was a ruler of a major state. Also important, was the fact that Congreve rockets were used for the first time against the Asante.
The Asantehene lost sixty of his Generals, Chiefs and captains, but few of the commanders escaped with himself and Boateng”.
It is said that the hairstyle worn by the Asante women dubbed “Gyese Nkran”, (except Akra), vulgarized as Densinkran, was introduced to mourn the Asante dead in the Katamansu war.