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Between and Mortarboard

UMMA Object Specific Fields

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Accession Number



Artist Nationality
Akan (culture or style)

Object Creation Date
20th century

Medium & Support

5 13/16 in x 1 9/16 in x 1 3/16 in (14.76 cm x 3.97 cm x 3.02 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Dr. James and Vivian Curtis

Subject matter
Gold-weights, used by Akan-speaking peoples to measure gold-dust (sika futura), were not the only tools necessary for conducting transactions. Scales, blow pans, and spoons (called saawa) were also needed for measuring gold-dust, which was used as currency in some areas of Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire until the end of the 19th century. These spoons lifted the gold-dust from a storage box to one side of a scale, the other counterbalanced by a gold-weight. 
References Cited:
Cole, Herbert M. and Doran H. Ross. 1977. The Art of Ghana. Los Angeles: UCLA Museum of Cultural History.
McLeod, Malcolm D. 1981. The Asante. London: British Museum Publications Ltd.

Physical Description
Spoon with a wide, flat two-tiered handle. The lower half of the handle is decorated with three 'bow-tie' designs. The upper portion of the handle is decorated with an animal with a pointed head, a lozenge-shaped body, and a two-pointed tail. 

Primary Object Classification
Decorative Arts

Primary Object Type

Collection Area

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gold (metal)
measuring device components
trade (function)

& Author Notes

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