Antique Fulani Manilla Currency/Slave Bracelet, West Africa (3165WHM) $295


Ht: 3.125”  W: 3.5”  Thickness: 1”| FREE SHIPPING WITHIN CONTINENTAL U.S.!

The Fulani people favored many kinds of body ornaments, among the most traditional being bracelets and anklets in a horseshoe shape with flared decorative ends.  This finely-crafted, heavy and massive antique U-shaped example was elaborately designed with intertwined twisted strands and 11 faceted ends incised with circle and diamond designs.


The Fulani are the most numerous nomadic people on earth and one of the largest ethnic groups in West Africa. Mostly Muslim, they are primarily nomads and sedentary farmers. For centuries theyc reated African metalwork and jewelry in the form of arm and ankle bracelets as symbols of wealth and status, fashion adornments and for birth, coming of age, marriage and burial ceremonies. They were also used for trade and barter for animals and agricultural goods and as a medium of exchange, as no banks or conventional money exchange systems  existed. As manilla bracelets were numerous, they were found throughout West Africa. During Africa’s colonization in the 1500s, the British, French and Dutch manufactured them in Europe and called them manillas. They became the main currency for the slave trade to the Americas and were known as slave bracelets and slave trade money.  Prohibited for use by foreign traders in the Manilla Currency Ordinance of 1919, in the 1940s and 50s they were confiscated and melted into reusable metal. Still worn by Caribbean slave descendants as family treasures, they are passed down to future generations. This one is in excellent condition, has a fine patina with minor pitting and scrapes consistent with its age and use.

Click here for Blog Manillas: Former African Trade Currency.

Additional information

Place of Origin



Antique (1200-1920)


19th Century

Materials and Technique

Bronze/brass/copper alloy

Dimensions (inches)

H: 3.125” W: 3.5" Thick: 1” Circum: 8.25”

Dimensions (metric)

H: 7.92 cm W: 8.94 cm Thick: 2.54 cm Circum: 20.95 cm


1 lb 5 0z


Excellent, fine patina demonstrating age and use

Item Number


Shipping Box Size