Object Place: Africa
Overall: 7.6 x 8.3 cm (3 x 3 1/4 in.)
Medium or Technique
Not On View
Manillas, a traditional currency in Western Africa, were originally metal bracelets or armlets. Later forms were copper, bronze, or brass open rings (penannular or almost ring-like), often horse-shoe shaped with enlarged finials. The term manilla comes from “manella”, Spanish for bracelet, indicating that the earliest such pieces circulated in the 16th and 17th centuries when seafarers from Europe reached the African coasts. Western currencies replaced manillas by the end of the 19th century.
About 1997, sold by Timothy Hamill, Hamill Gallery of African Art, Boston, MA to Alan Helms; 2009, gift of Alan Helms to the MFA. ((Accession date: December 16, 2009)
Gift of Alan Helms