Asafo flags on show at Nubuke

 The Asafo, warrior divisions of the Gomoa communities in the Central Region are  known to be loud, proud and provocative with their flags reflecting their fiery spirit. 


 Some of the flags are on show at the Nubuke Foundation, East Legon in Accra  till October 19.

 Nubuke’s  collection shows over 30 such flags from the colonial and independence periods, each belonging to different Asafo companies.  Brilliant in colour, each Asafo flag communicates a company’s message in the visual imagery based on Fante proverbs. 

The tradition was heavily influenced by the pomp and processions of European armoured units during the colonial era.

 Offering an insight into the Asafo culture, the flags share a visual language and each is complete with its own appliquéd assemblage of small vibrant figures, wild animals, pots of palm wine, traps, explosions and serpent-headed monsters.

They  portray proverbs that boast of prowess, mock inferiority and warn of risks awaiting the opponent who dares.  

All of the flags in the exhibition seem to communicate with each other: proverbs bouncing back and forth, soldiers ready for action, animals sparring and opponents trembling. 

Seeing them amassed in this way gives one a sense of the cacophony of colours and confrontations that run through an Asafo procession.

Though the role of the Asafo companies is no longer to protect the communities, the companies still proudly demonstrate their prowess at festivals and other celebrations.




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