King Manilla, Nigeria

King Manilla, Nigeria

Usage conditions apply
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.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Manilla, King
alternative currency
Other Terms
Manilla, King; Africa; Nigeria
date made
Associated Name
Chase Manhattan Bank, N.A.
place used
associated place
Physical Description
brass (overall material)
brown/gold/gray (overall color)
cast (overall production method/technique)
overall: 33.2 cm x 14.5 cm x 5.6 cm; 13 1/16 in x 5 23/32 in x 2 7/32 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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