A hunter wearing a batakari tunic and his junior finds a bird perched on the roof of a house. 

 

Birds are considered a significant deity in the town of Anomabo, according to oral tradition the town was first established when a hunter from the Nsona clan first discovered the area and decided to settle and build a house.


The hunter noticed a large rock by the sea was covered with birds and proclaimed the area 

‘’Ɔbonoma’’ in Fante which means ‘’rock of birds in English. 

 

"A bird that lands on the roof of a house has found its home"

 

 

Made at the Anomabo Workshop / Kwamina Amoaku (1895 - 1985)

 

 

 c. 1970s

 

 

 

Cotton all hand-sewn appliqued figures.

*heavily stained due to festival use + age / small hole visible by appliue figure*

 

 

 

History of Asafo Flags:

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 a special occasions or the installation of a new ‘Asafo’ chief (Supi) are the main motivations 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 an historical event, identify the company with an animal, 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.

Since the 1990’s these flags have become highly collectible outside of Ghana.
Today newly made flags are facing a decline as these flags are no longer used for war but for peaceful festival displays the demand has dropped with old traditions fading.


Asafo flags still hold an important part of communal life in Fante villages among the Asafo groups.

Bird House

£495.00 Regular Price
£405.90Sale Price
  • Natural wear, tattering and stains from age will be evident in most of our flags.

     

    We provide a conservation/mounting service:

    Most damage to textiles is age-related; over time, works may discolor, fade, darken, and deteriorate causing splits and losses in the material. The conservator stabilizes the textiles using delicate stitching and conservation mounting where applicable.

  • 145 x 93 cm