Asafo flag - ROM2016_14990_13


Asafo flag

Maker: Unidentified artist and workshop
Medium:Cotton, applique, embroidery
Geography: Unidentified Company, Ghana
Date: 1925-1950
101 × 204 cm
Object number: 2012.65.7
Credit Line: Federico Carmignani Asafo Collection; This acquisition was made possible with the generous support of the Louise Hawley Stone Charitable Trust
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 complex narrative flag illustrates a battle between two opponents, and probably refers to a specific historical event. The crowned chief on the left has his hands tied and is being imprisoned. The queen mother on the right is celebrated and fanned by angels.

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