Antique Fulani Manilla Currency/Slave Bracelet, West Africa (3155VKM) $195


H: 2.625”  W: 3”  Thick: 0.25” Circum. 8.25” | FREE SHIPPING WITHIN CONTINENTAL U.S.!

Each African region fabricated its own variety of manillas that were typically horseshoe or C-shaped. This large beautiful antique manilla has a rounded smooth surface with fine etched linear design, circles, swirls, stipples, and V-shapes. In excellent condition with a fine aged patina it comes with a wood and metal stand.



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 they created African metalwork and jewelry in the form of arm and ankle bracelets as symbols of wealth and status, fashion adornments worn for birth, coming of age, marriage and burial ceremonies, to trade and barter for animals and agricultural goods and as a medium of exchange, as there were no banks or conventional money exchange systems. Since they are numerous, their manilla bracelets are found throughout West Africa. This large fine 18-19th century circular high walled manilla from Nigeria has a rounded smooth surface inside and out with beautiful etched linear design, circles, swirls, stipples, and V-shapes. It is in excellent condition with a fine aged patina with  some evidence of pitting, scratches, and discolorations consistent with age. During Africa’s colonization in the 1500s, the British, French and Dutch manufactured bracelets in Europe, called them manillas and they became the main currency of the slave trade to the Americas. They were prohibited for use by foreign traders in the Manilla Currency Ordinance of 1919. In the 1940s and 50s, they were confiscated and melted down for reusable metal. This one is in excellent condition, has a fine patina with minor pitting and scrapes consistent with age and use.

Click here for Blog Manillas: Former African Trade Currency.



Additional information

Place of Origin



Antique (1200-1920)


18-19th Century

Materials and Technique

Bronze/brass/copper alloy

Dimensions (inches)

H: 2.625 W: 3" Thick: .25" Circum: 8.25"

Dimensions (metric)

H: 6.65 cm Width: 7.6 cm Thick: .635 cm Circum: 20.95 cm


9.1 oz


Excellent, fine patina demonstrating age and use

Item Number


Shipping Box Size