Sunday, October 1, 2017

Scout Left Handshake

The History of the Scout Left Handshake


Our scout left handshake is an ancient sign of bravery, peace, unity, trust and respect. The left handshake comes to us from the Ashanti Warrior king Otumfuo Nana Prempeh I. "WHEN COLONEL BADEN-POWELL entered the capital city of the Ashanti Empire Kumasi in 1896, Baden Powell saluted the king with the right hand and stretched fought his hand…., the Ashanti King offered his left hand instead, When asked why Baden Powell was told that by offering his left hand which traditionally was used to hold a shield for protection the king was showing his trust to his enemy or friend. 

The king further explained that “In our land only the bravest with the brave shake hands with the left, because to do so, we must first drop our shields and our protection”.
For without the shield for protection he was open to attack.

So began the "left handshake" of the world-wide brotherhood of Scouts. Whenever you use the Scout left handshake, remember that it is a sign of bravery, respect, friendship and trust.

The Ashanti king knew the bravery of Baden Powell because they fought against him therefore they acknowledged his bravery with the left handshake.

The left hand is also closer to the human heart.

The Anglo-Ashanti Wars were a series of wars and conflicts between the Ashanti Empire, in the Gold Coast (now Ghana), and the invading British Empire and British-allied African Colonel Sir Francis Scott left Cape Coast with the main expeditionary force of British and West Indian troops, Maxim guns and 75mm artillery in December 1895, and travelling along the remnants of the 1874 road arrived in Kumasi In January 1896. Major Robert Baden-Powell led a native levy of several local tribes in the campaign. 

This time around, the Asantehene directed the Ashanti warriors not to resist, but casualties from sickness among the British troops were high. Soon, Governor William Maxwell arrived in Kumasi as well. Asantehene Agyeman Prempeh was unable or unwilling to pay the 50,000 ounces of gold so he was arrested and deposed. He was forced to sign a treaty of protection, and with other Ashanti chiefs and warriors was sent into exile in the Seychelles.
Baden-Powell published a diary of life, giving the reasons, as he saw them, for the war: To put a stop to slave-trading and raiding. To ensure peace and security for the neighbouring tribes. To settle the country and protect the development of trade. To get paid up the balance of the war indemnity. He also believed that if a smaller force had been sent, there would have been bloodshed.

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