Manilla Physical Object
DescriptionExcellent condition. Originally recovered in 1948 by Art McKee off the coast of Marathon, Florida. Purchased along with 2000.06.0001, .0003, .0004 by M.F.M.H.S. for $133.96.
5.8 cm H x 5.9 cm W , Item (Overall)
0 kg Weight
Early 20th century
Like European coins, manillas were made in a variety of sizes for use as currency. Unlike coins, they were not standardized but valued individually by weight like ingots. some large manillas were created as status symbols and elaborately decorated.
First made in Africa, they were manufactured in Europe as early as the 16th century to facilitate trading. In 1949, in an attempt to modernize, the English outlawed their use in colonial Nigeria, bringing an end to a 500-year old tradition.