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Between and Mortarboard


UMMA Object Specific Fields






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Gold-weight

Accession Number
1997/1.490

Title
Gold-weight

Artist(s)
Akan

Artist Nationality
Akan (culture or style)

Object Creation Date
1900-1985

Medium & Support
brass

Dimensions
1 in x 11/16 in x 3/16 in (2.6 cm x 1.8 cm x 0.5 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Dr. James and Vivian Curtis

Subject matter
Geometric gold-weight in the shape of a triangle with a small protrusion, which may represent an Islamic amulet (called safi or sebe in the Twi language) with a suspension loop. A safi or sebe is an Islamic amulet adopted by Akan-speaking peoples around the 14th century (cf. Sheales, African Goldweights2014). These amulets or charms were considered powerful due to their connection with the written word, which was, in and of itself, thought to be magical. Such amulets were very popular, used to ward off all evils but sickness and natural death (cf. Sheales, African Goldweights, 2014). 

Physical Description
Gold-weight in the shape of a triangular base, with a raised line along the edges and a bisecting line down the middle. Along one edge of the base there is a small circular protrusion. 

Primary Object Classification
Metalwork

Primary Object Type
goldweight

Collection Area
African

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
amulets
goldweights
measuring
miniature (size attribute)
protection (maintenance function)
weighing devices

1 Related Resource

Visual Cultures of Islam- Metalwork
(Part of: Visual Cultures of Islam )

& Author Notes

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