Asafo flag - ROM2015_14943_9


Asafo flag

Maker: Kobina Badowah, Kormantse Workshop
Medium:Cotton, applique, embroidery
Geography: Unidentified Company, Ghana
Date: c. 1980
108 × 159 cm
Object number: 2012.65.38
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.

A couple of proverbs are evoked with this flag: "The crab does not fear the rough sea." and "A snake does not bite a man wihtout a cause." The crab also alludes to the motto: "Who will be coming?"

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