- Manillas were regularly used in exchange in West Africa, especially along the coast of modern-day Nigeria, from at least the fifteenth century to the mid-twentieth century. Cast from various metals, including copper, brass, and iron, they are crescent-shaped and resemble an open bracelet. They were produced by Portuguese, British, Dutch, and French merchants specifically for trade in West Africa. Manillas were used in everyday purchases at markets. They were also a central currency of the transatlantic slave trade.
- Currently not on view
- Object Name
- alternative currency
- Other Terms
- Manilla; Africa; West Africa
- place used
- Physical Description
- metal, brass (overall material)
- brown/gold (overall color)
- cast and shaped by hand (overall production method/technique)
- average spatial: 54.5 mm; x 2 1/8 in
- ID Number
- accession number
- catalog number
- Credit Line
- The Chase Manhattan Bank
- See more items in
- Work and Industry: National Numismatic Collection
- West African Currency
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History
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