Asafo flag - ROM2016_15012_14


Asafo flag

Maker: Unidentified Artist, Saltpond Workshop
Medium:Cotton, applique, embroidery
Geography: Unidentified Company, Krofu, Ghana
Date: c. 1960
115 × 176 cm
Object number: 2012.65.29
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 lion’s power is often illustrated by his ability to overcome and dominate smaller animals ‒ sometimes even the leopard. In this flag, the lion controls the entrance to a circular space where two smaller felines seem to be trapped.

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