Asafo flag - ROM2016_15012_10


Asafo flag

Maker: Unidentified Artist, Komenda Workshop
Medium:Cotton, wool felt, applique, embroidery
Geography: Unidentified Company, Ghana
Date: 1900-1925
80 × 163 cm
Object number: 2012.65.8
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.

Here the asafo members gather, called by the rhythm of the drum. Drums are a vital instrument for asafo and a way to communicate messages to its members. Drum rhythms are like sentences that convey encouraging or defiant messages to those who can decode them.

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