Gold-dust ScaleArtist(s)AkanArtist NationalityAkan (culture or style)Object Creation Date20th centuryMedium & SupportbrassDimensions
2 3/4 in x 2 9/16 in x 5 1/8 in (6.99 cm x 6.51 cm x 13.02 cm)Credit LineGift of Dr. James and Vivian CurtisSubject matter
Lightweight scales (nsania
) such as this one would have been used to weigh gold-dust (sika futura
) by Akan-speaking peoples in Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire. Prior to British colonial control, gold-dust was used as currency, measured on scales against gold-weights that could take many forms. Great skill was necessary to use the scales accurately, as even the slightest amount of wind could increase the weight of the dust, or else blow it away.
McLeod, Malcolm D. 1981. The Asante
. London: British Museum Publications Ltd.Physical Description
Gold-dust scale in three parts. There are two round pans, one larger than the other, and a horizontal beam. The pans each have three holes around the outer edge and an incised circle at the center of each pan. The horizontal beam has a central square projection with a small hole and two hooks on either end. Primary Object Classification Metalwork Primary Object TypeutensilCollection AreaAfricanRights
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measuring device components