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ID number:  BIRRC-D0505
Institution:  Research and Cultural Collections
Named collection:  Danford Collection of West African Art and Artefacts
Artist / Maker:  Unknown
Title / Object name:  Ceremonial Asante Sandals
Object type:  Shoes
Place made:  Africa: Ghana
Culture:  Asante
Date made:  1990s
Materials:  Painted rubber
Measurements:  29 x 14 cm

Gifted to CWAS by the late Agogohene Akuoko Sarpong, chief of the town of Agogo in Asante (Ashanti) in present-day Ghana. The sandals – Mpaboa – are a crucial part of a chief’s regalia, for his feet must never be in direct contact with the earth – Asase Yaa. This would result in a loss of authority, and potential disaster for the chief and his people. So when a chief is removed from office the sandals are taken from his feet. The same traditions apply to the kings, who even have dedicated sandal bearers. This is part of a set of four items from this particular donor, including ceremonial swords, a ceremonial throne and a processional ceremonial umbrella.

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