Asafo flag - ROM2015_14943_3


Asafo flag

Maker: Egya Kwaw Ano, Shama Workshop
Medium:Cotton, wool felt, applique, embroidery
Geography: Unidentified Company, Ghana
106 × 146 cm
Object number: 2012.65.24
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 flag depicts two proverbs: "Only a brave man will go under a big tree in the forest" (see also flag 2012.65.15) and "A snake does not bite a man without a cause." The forest is a symbol of the unknown.

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