Old African Currency – Massive Djerma King Manilla – West Africaamazigh
The piece is cm. 13,5 width x 11,0 high (5.31″ x 4.33″). Grams 1616,0 (57 oz.)
Used especially as dowry money, it was worn by the women during ritual dances and lay festival.
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.
The name manilla is said to derive from the Spanish for a ‘bracelet’ manella, the Portuguese for ‘hand-ring’ manilha, or after the Latin manus (hand) or from monilia, plural of monile (necklace).
For a similar example see:
– “The Perfect Form”, by Roberto Ballarini, page 135.
– “African Currency”, by Adolfo Bartolomucci, page 31.