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Asafo flag - ROM2016_15012_22

ROM2016_15012_22

Asafo flag

Maker: Kweku Kakanu (1910-1982), Saltpond Workshop
Geography: Unidentified Fante Nynkumase Company, Fante Nynkumase, Ghana
Date: 1925-1950
Medium: Cotton, applique, embroidery
Dimensions:
109 × 200 cm
Credit Line: Federico Carmignani Asafo Collection; This acquisition was made possible with the generous support of the Louise Hawley Stone Charitable Trust
Object number: 2012.65.4
Not on view
Description

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 whale is a mighty, awe-inspiring creature. Yet technological superiority may often overcome natural strength. A common saying associated with this flag motif is: “No one can defeat the whale except the ship.”

Collection:
  • Ethnology of Africa
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