“The Crow and the Cat” Fante Asafo Flag circa 1950
Framed Asafo Flag from Ghana.
Superb classic period Fante Asafo flag. The style of the figure suggests that this flag is from the Saltpond workshop, perhaps by one of the greatest of the Fante master flagmakers of the golden age of Asafo design, Kweku Kakanu (1910-1982) and it dates from around the 1950s.
In excellent complete condition.
Framed in art glass which is UV protected and non reflective.
Asafo Flags have an interesting significance and history. The Fante people who live along the Central Region of Ghana's coast traded extensively with Europeans and were avid buyers of imported cloth.
Lacking a standing army during the 17th century the Fante organized military groups called ‘Asafo’, the name is derived from ‘sa’ meaning war, and ‘fo’ meaning people.
During this colonization period, the ‘Asafo’ people began adopting European and British military practices such as naming and numbering their states and companies.
The earliest flags may have been painted or drawn on raffia cloth but, as is the case today most flags were made of appliquéd trade cloth.
The marking of special occasions or the installation of a new ‘Asafo’ chief (Supi) is the main motivation for the creation of a new flag.
These flags are displayed at different social events including annual festivals, ceremonies, and funerals. Simple imagery that is always unique would either depict a historical event, identify the company with an animal, an image of power or depict a confrontational proverb to threaten other rival companies.
Patchwork Applique cut edges to produce fringing, color, and symbolic scenes which is a mirrored image on both sides are typical of an Asafo Flag.
Many carried the Union Jack until Ghana claimed independence in 1957.
107cm x 162cm
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