King Manilla, Nigeria


The phrases king manilla, queen manilla, and prince manilla, refer to larger variations of the smaller, more common manilla that was used in everyday exchange in West Africa from at least the fifteenth century to the mid-twentieth century. These phrases were not used in West Africa and no standard description of each object type exists. These manillas are large curved bars in the shape of semi-circle and are typically less curved than the smaller manillas, which resemble an open bracelet. King manillas were made from brass, copper, and iron. They likely served as a store of value rather than a regular medium of exchange. They may have been used in large transactions related to the transatlantic slave trade.

Date Made: n.d.

Location: Currently not on view

Place Used: NigeriaAssociated Place: Nigeria

See more items in: Work and Industry: National Numismatic Collection, West African Currency


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: The Chase Manhattan Bank

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: NU.79.112.00316Accession Number: 1979.1263Catalog Number: 79.112.00316

Object Name: alternative currencyManilla, KingOther Terms: Manilla, King; Africa; Nigeria

Physical Description: iron (overall material)black/brown (overall color)cast (overall production method/technique)Measurements: overall: 27.3 cm x 14.5 cm x 4.28 cm; 10 3/4 in x 5 23/32 in x 1 11/16 in


Record Id: nmah_1069115

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