Asafo flag - ROM2016_14990_9


Asafo flag

Maker: Kobina Badowah, Kormantse Workshop
Medium:Cotton, polyester, applique, embroidery
Geography: Unidentified Company, Ghana
Date: c. 1970
105 × 155 cm
Object number: 2012.65.27
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.

In this flag, the mighty elephant is a mere bystander while the duiker, a small and very intelligent forest antelope, is carried on a palanquin like a chief. “Although the elephant is largest, it is the duiker that rules the forest.”

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