Asafo flag - ROM2015_14921_15


Asafo flag

Maker: Unidentified Artist, Kormantse Workshop
Medium:Cotton, applique, embroidery
Geography: Tuafo No.1 Company, Gomoa Dago, Ghana
Date: c. 2000
113 × 159.5 cm
Object number: 2014.59.19
Credit Line: This acquisition was made possible with the generous support of the Department of Museum Volunteers Acquisition and Research Fund
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 was purchased from the leaders of Tuafo No. 1 Company in Gomoa Dago after it was displayed during the Akwambo festival of 2014.  During this event the flag was contested by the members of No. 2 Company who deemed the flag inappropriate because of the rich colour palette that does not correspond to what is traditionally assigned to No. 1 Company. The elders agreed to have the flag re-made and sold this to the ROM collection. This flag illustrates the common saying "Our enemies are like fish in a dragnet". It was made by either Kwame Suromanyi or his brother Kwesi Asemstin in the early 2000s.

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