Asafo flag - ROM2016_14990_17


Asafo flag

Maker: Unidentified Artist, Kormantse Workshop
Medium:Cotton, applique, embroidery
Geography: Unidentified Company, Ghana
Date: c. 1970
107 × 165 cm
Object number: 2012.65.33
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 illustrates the rather common advice: “Only tie a bull to a large tree.” In this saying, both the animal and the tree are acknowledged as strong and mighty.

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