Antique Fulani Manilla Currency/Slave Bracelet, West Africa (3159XLR) $110


H: 2.75”  W: 3.125”  Thick: 0.375” Circum. 8.25” | FREE SHIPPING WITHIN CONTINENTAL U.S.!

This early 19th century Fulani bracelet has its origin in Mali or Niger. As nomadic people, bracelets and anklets such as this were an ideal form of currency that was wearable, easily portable, and available for occasional major purchases. This circular thin C-shaped manilla has a rounded smooth surface inside and out. It is divided visually into six sections with incised crosshatch and linear designs. The copper-colored surface has a fine patina and it is in excellent condition with signs of use consistent with its age.  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 like 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 of animals and agricultural goods and as a medium of exchange, as there were no banks or conventional money exchange systems. Since they were numerous, bracelets 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 which became  slave trade currency to the Americas and were known as slave bracelets, slave trade money and bracelet money.  Prohibited for use by foreign traders in the Manilla Currency Ordinance of 1919, and in the 1940s and 50s were confiscated and melted them into usable metal. 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)


18-19th Century


4.7 oz

Materials and Technique

Bronze/brass/copper alloy

Dimensions (inches)

H: 2.75” W: 3.125” Thick .375” Circum: 8.25”

Dimensions (metric)

H: 6.98 cm W: 7.92 cm Thick: 1.85 cm Circum: 20.95 cm


Excellent, fine patina demonstrating age and use

Item Number