Manilla, Gold Coast and Nigeria, 19th century

Manilla, Gold Coast and Nigeria, 19th century

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Description
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.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
alternative currency
Manilla
Other Terms
Manilla; Africa; Gold Coast to Lower Niger
date made
19th century
place made
Africa
associated place
Ghana: Gold Coast
Physical Description
bronze (overall material)
brown/gold (overall color)
cast (overall production method/technique)
Measurements
overall: 5.88 cm x 5.89 cm x 1.67 cm; 2 5/16 in x 2 5/16 in x 21/32 in
ID Number
NU.79.112.OC18
accession number
1979.1263
catalog number
79.112.OC18
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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