Manillas are a form of money, usually made of bronze or copper, which were used in West Africa. They were produced in large numbers in a wide range of designs, sizes, and weights. Originating before the colonial period, perhaps as the result of trade with the Portuguese Empire, Manillas continued to serve as money and decorative objects until the late 1940s and are still used as decorative objects in some contexts. In the popular consciousness, they are particularly associated with the Atlantic slave trade.
Dating to the middle of the 18th-century, this slave trade bracelet is a fantastic artifact!
Bracelets such as this were highly prized in Western Africa from 1600-1860. The style and make of this kind of bracelet was indigenous to most western African tribes, and was utilized not only as jewelry, but as portable wealth. During the era of the slave trade, European traders would meet with African tribesmen and barter for all manner of goods for bracelets such as this. One bracelet of this size would purchase a cow. Four would purchase a musket. Eight would purchase a wife - or a human being.
Total Weight of all three pieces is 2lbs 7.5oz.
One piece is solid.
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