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Between and Mortarboard


UMMA Object Specific Fields






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Gold-weight

Accession Number
1997/1.462

Title
Gold-weight

Artist(s)
Akan

Artist Nationality
Akan (culture or style)

Object Creation Date
1900-1985

Medium & Support
brass

Dimensions
2 5/16 in x 1 in x 1/8 in (5.9 cm x 2.5 cm x 0.3 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Dr. James and Vivian Curtis

Subject matter
A figurative gold-weight in the shape of an axe (akuma). According to Fiona Sheales, 2014, some proverbs associated with the axe are: ‘The last-born carries the axe.'; ‘If a person who has never bought meat buys liver, he uses an axe to chop it up.' 

According to Timothy Garrard, 1980, a proverb related to the axe is: "If you are so friendly with the woodpecker as to perform its funeral rites, then buy an axe for it now so that it may not die by knocking its head against the tree. (If you have a son who behaves badly, check him now before it is too late.)"
See: T. Garrard, Akan Weights and the Gold Trade, 1980, p. 209-10, 363. 
See also: Sheales, Fiona, African Goldweights, London, BMP, 2014
http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/online_research_catalogues/agw/african_gold-weights.aspx

Physical Description
Gold-weight in the shape of a rod thicker at one end, with a small rectangle attached to the thicker end. 

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
axes (tools)
goldweights
measuring
miniature (size attribute)
weighing devices

& Author Notes

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