Asafo flag - ROM2016_14990_5


Asafo flag

Maker: Baba Issah, Petubew-Asebo Workshop
Medium:Cotton, applique, embroidery
Geography: Unidentified Company, Ghana
Date: c. 1950
109 × 169.5 cm
Object number: 2012.65.25
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.

Strength and wisdom are important characters to display in the public arena. Among the Akan people, Ananse, the spider, is considered the source of all wisdom. In this flag, Ananse appears alongside a strong man carrying a globe on his shoulders. The globe may represent as the town, state, country, or universe being carried by the asafo company that owns the flag.

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