Unknown ( Unknown )

Probably 19th century
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General Description

Manillas are open, cast "brass" bracelets originally manufactured in Europe. They were introduced by foreign merchants and circulated in West Africa from the 15th to the early 20th century. Small manillas were melted and recast into larger sizes or recast into works of art. Royal brass casters in the Benin kingdom in present-day Nigeria melted down manillas obtained from the Portuguese and recast them as plaques.

Adapted from

  • Roslyn A. Walker, Label text, Arts of Africa, 2015.
  • Roslyn A. Walker, DMA unpublished material, 2013.

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