Asafo flag - ROM2016_15057_9


Asafo flag

Maker: Unidentified Artist, Saltpond Workshop
Medium:Cotton, applique, embroidery
Geography: Unidentified Company, Ghana
Date: c. 1960
93 × 173 cm
Object number: 2012.65.31
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.

The large yellow oware board that dominates the composition of this flag indicates a company’s strategic superiority. The message is usually in the realm of “We can conquer our rivals at oware,” meaning they can defeat them at any endeavour.

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