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Between and Mortarboard


UMMA Object Specific Fields






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Gold-weight

Accession Number
1997/1.502

Title
Gold-weight

Artist(s)
Akan

Artist Nationality
Akan (culture or style)

Object Creation Date
1900-1985

Medium & Support
brass

Dimensions
2 in x 7/16 in x 1/16 in (5 cm x 1.1 cm x 0.2 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Dr. James and Vivian Curtis

Subject matter
Figurative gold-weight in the form of what may be folded and bound length of rope or a bound length of tobacco, called taa in Twi, the language spoken by Akan peoples in Ghana (cf. British Museum object number Af1979,01.3683). Everyday objects such as this one were a popular form of gold-weight (cf. Phillips, African Goldweights, 2010, p. 169), as both men and women, royal and non-royal alike used to use pipes to smoke tobacco. The practice of smoking tobacco was brought from Western Sudan into the Gold Coast region during the early 17th century and it was also introduced independently into the Accra area by the Dutch around 1640 (cf. Garrard, Akan Weights and the Gold Trade, 1980, p. 37; Sheales, African Goldweights, 2014).

Physical Description
Gold-weight in the shape of an undulating line with incised knobs at both ends and an incised rectangle across the middle. 

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
goldweights
measuring
miniature (size attribute)
rope
smoking (activity)
tobacco (material)
weighing devices

& Author Notes

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