Asafo flag - ROM2015_14921_11


Asafo flag

Maker: Kwame Suromanyi, Kormantse Workshop
Medium:Cotton, applique, embroidery
Geography: Unidentified Company, Cape Coast, Ghana
121.5 × 163 cm
Object number: 2014.59.17
Credit Line: This acquisition was made possible with the generous support of the Department of Museum Volunteers Acquisition and Research Fund
Not on view

Warfare is not something that takes place only in the battlefield. For the asafo companies of western Ghana, competition among groups took as much an aesthetic as a military form. These military companies use flags to represent, in vivid and graphic ways, the values and ethos of the group.

This flag illustrates the proverb "Will you fly or will you vanish", commonly used by certain asafo companies to assert their superiority over enemies and their superior warfare skills. This flag was purchased from the workshop of Kwame Suromanyi in Kormantse among the stock of flags that he had prepared for sale to dealers operating in urban art markets.

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