Asafo flag - ROM2016_15012_26


Asafo flag

Maker: Kweku Kakanu, Saltpond Workshop
Medium:Cotton, applique, embroidery
Geography: Unidentified Company, Ghana
Date: c.1950
102 × 171 cm
Object number: 2012.65.14
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 two-headed eagle is flanked by snakes, its proverbial enemy. The most common saying associated with this motif is: “We can see in all directions, we know what is going on everywhere.”

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