Antique Fulani Manilla Currency/Slave Bracelet, West Africa (3147YCK)
H: 2.875” W: 3” Thick: 0.625” Circum: 8.5” | FREE SHIPPING
Each African region fabricated its own variety of manillas that were typically horseshoe or C-shaped with a faceted ball or flare at the ends with added pieces of metal to the body or plain open ends Ranging from thin delicate shapes to heavy massive pieces, they were embellished with designs of deeply carved lines forming parallel ridges, stamped or incised geometric forms, and other motifs. This delicate antique Fulani metal bracelet has cut parallel ridges over most of its surface which elicits the effects of twisted metal pieces.The top is centered with a unique extended flat topped boss/knob unlike most manillas. With a fine patina, it is a beautiful piece in excellent condition with wear scratches and discolorations consistent with its age and use and comes with a wood and metal stand.
Click here for Blog Manillas: Former African Trade Currency.
The Fulani are the most numerous nomadic people on earth and one of the largest ethnic groups in West-Africa. They are mostly Muslim who are primarily nomads and sedentary farmers. For centuries the Fulani, like most peoples from Africa, created metalwork African-jewelry as arm and ankle bracelets that were symbols of wealth and status, fashion adornments, used ceremonially for births, coming of age, marriages, and burials, to trade for animals and domestic and agricultural goods and as a medium of exchange where there were no banks or conventional currency exchange systems. Since they are so numerous, their manilla bracelets are found throughout West Africa, and this one was found in Nigeria. During the colonization of Africa in the 1500s. the British, French and Dutch appropriated these bracelets and began to manufacture their own versions they named “manillas.” Once a beautiful indigenous form of currency and adornment for and by African peoples, manillas became the currency for the slave trade to the Americas and were referred to as “slave bracelets,” “slave trade money” and “bracelet money” to purchase slaves to work on plantations in the Americas. They were finally prohibited for use by foreign traders under the Manilla Currency Ordinance of 1919 but continued to be used by the West African Currency Board for several decades. The 1940s and 50’s witnessed a strong and successful movement to collect, confiscate and meltdown manillas to use for other purposes. Manillas are still worn by slave descendants in the Caribbean as a significant family treasure of African-art to pass on to future generations.
|Place of Origin||
Africa, West Africa
|Materials and Technique||
HT: 2.875” W: 3” Thick: 0.625” Circum: 8.5”
H: 7.29 cm W: 7.62 cm Thick: 1.59 cm Circum: 21.59 cm
Excellent, fine patina demonstrating age and use
|Shipping Box Size|