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Asafo Flag

African Art

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Asafo Flag

Artwork Details

Artist/Maker

Fante Artist, Ghana

Date

ca. 1895

Medium

Cotton

Accession #

2012.58

Dimensions

Please contact the Museum for more information.

Location

Currently Not on View

Description

Fante textile artists have been creating Asafo flags for at least three hundred years. Asafo were originally military organizations, but today they perform more civic duties. The flag is embroidered with the Elmina forts, established by the Portuguese in 1482. The two forts, St. George and St. Jago, were linked by a telegraph wire in 1885, connecting the United Kingdom to its West African colonies; the British Union Jack appears in the corner of this flag. In Fante communities of coastal Ghana today, Asafo flags are danced in elaborate displays at annual festivals.

Credit

Purchase with African Art Acquisition Fund and funds from the Fred and Rita Richman Special Initiatives Endowment Fund for African Art