Antique Fulani Manilla Currency/Slave Bracelet, West Africa (3147YCK) $165


H: 2.875” W: 3” Thick: 0.625” Circum: 8.5” | FREE SHIPPING IN CONTINENTAL U.S.!

Each African group made its own manillas and were mostly horseshoe or C-shaped.  Ranging from thin delicate shapes to heavy massive pieces, they were embellished with deeply carved designs, stamped or incised geometric forms and other motifs. This delicate Fulani bracelet has cut parallel ridges over most of its surface eliciting the effects of twisted metal pieces. The top is centered with a unique extended flat topped boss/knob.  



The Fulani are the most numerous nomadic people on earth and one of the largest ethnic African groups in West Africa. Mostly Muslim, they are primarily nomads and sedentary farmers. For centuries theycreated 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, used to trade and barter for animals and agricultural goods and as a hidden medium for travel and exchange as there were no banks or conventional money exchange systems. The Fulani are so numerous, their manilla bracelets are found throughout West Africa. During Africa’s colonization in the 1500s, the British, French and Dutch manufactured their own bracelet versions in European factories, called them manillas and they became the currency of the slave trade 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, in the 1940s and 50s were confiscated and melted down for use as reusable metal. In the Caribbean , they are still worn by slave descendants as a family treasure and passed down to future generations. 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)


19th Century

Materials and Technique

Bronze/brass/copper alloy

Dimensions (inches)

HT: 2.875” W: 3” Thick: 0.625” Circum: 8.5”

Dimensions (metric)

H: 7.29 cm W: 7.62 cm Thick: 1.59 cm Circum: 21.59 cm


8 oz


Excellent, fine patina demonstrating age and use

Item Number

3147YCK, 3147YOK

Shipping Box Size