Asafo flag - ROM2016_15012_18


Asafo flag

Maker: Essel Manso, Saltpond Workshop
Medium:Cotton, applique, embroidery
Geography: Unidentified Company, Ghana
Date: 1900-1925
101 × 183 cm
Object number: 2012.65.15
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 exudes power and might. Under a large tree, a place of danger for the Akan, three fearsome animals reside. On one side a lion is asserting its superiority over the leopard, while on the other a bush cow stands strong and brave.

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