Passage: The privilege of blackening one's stool is not granted to every dead chi...
The privilege of blackening one’s stool is not granted to every dead chief or queen-mother without conditions. The honour is merited only on the fulfilment of certain conditions on the part of the occupant of a stool. The blackening of a king’s stool is regarded as the greatest honour that could be conferred on a ruler; thus in many Akan states only the stools of kings who proved to be true leaders are blackened. No royal person’s stool is reserved unless he died while still a ruler. A destooled chief is the last person whose memory anybody wants to keep fresh. He must have broken a taboo or committed a serious crime to merit his degradation. He may have committed adultery with his servants’ wives; he may have bought and sold slaves, who are considered as heirlooms to the stool; he may have used the oath unreasonably; he may have cursed people. All these crimes can deprive a chief of his regal powers. Once this happens, he becomes, in the eyes of the people, more insignificant than a commoner who has no right whatever to be a chief. However, a chief may ‘die on the stool’, and yet not have his stool blackened. This is so because one must die a ‘good death’. Sudden death through an accident destroys the right to have one’s stool blackened. So does death through an unusual disease like leprosy, lunacy, epilepsy and dropsy — which, if discovered in time, are causes for destoolment. The only exception here is death in war which magnifies one’s fame and dignity. But even here, if it is found out that one fell when retreating, or running away, from the enemy, one is regarded as a treacherous and infamous leader who should be erased from all historical memory. A chief who suffered from an unclean disease, but got cured before dying, is said to have been engaged in a personal difficult war with the disease and emerged triumphant. Such a chief is worthy of respect. Suicide is, perhaps, one of the worst deaths a chief could undergo. Under no condition whatever will the stool of a ruler who takes his own life, or is killed by a ‘fetish’ be consecrated.
Answer the following question on the passage.
Which of the following is the most suitable title for the passage?
A) reasons for destoolment
B) how to live a worthy life by an Akan ruler
C) an aspect of traditional custom of the Akan people
D) stool blackening by the royal personages
The correct answer is C.
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