AKAN "AFENA" SWORDS and OBJECTS, Ghana


AKAN
Sword 2
22.5" high
$300

AKAN
Sword 4
22.75" high
$300

AKAN
Sword 5
24,75" high
$300

AKAN
Sword 6
26" high
$300

AKAN
Sword 7
26.5" high
$300

AKAN
Sword 8
21" high
$300

AKAN
Sword 9
17.5" high
$200

AKAN
Sword 10
17.75" high
$200

AKAN
Sword 11
17.25" high
$150

AKAN
Rattle 1
13" high
$200

AKAN
Gong 12
16.75" high
$300


Photographs © Tim Hamill

These objects have all been vetted as being authentic with signs of use and age.

One of the most important symbolic objects of the Akan (Asante, Fante, Baule,etc.) peoples are the ceremonial swords called "Afena".  Some (Numbers 1-3), with white and offerings on them are called an "Okomfo Afena" and were used by shrine priests. They originated as practical weapons, then took on various ideological and ritual roles. Dull blades, sometimes with openwork, show they were not intended to be functional weapons. They usually have a curved iron blade and an ornate hilt shaped like a dumbell, which is sometimes covered with gold leaf.. The specific functions and forms of swords vary from state to state. In general, swords are (or were) used for swearing oaths, as symbols of rank and safe passage,  and for display.

---Dan Mato, Professor Emeritus of Art History, The University of Calgary

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