Gold-weightArtist(s)AkanArtist NationalityAkan (culture or style)Object Creation Date1900-1985Medium & SupportbrassDimensions
1 9/16 in x 1/2 in x 3/16 in (3.9 cm x 1.2 cm x 0.5 cm)Credit LineGift of Dr. James and Vivian CurtisSubject matter
Geometric gold-weight in the form of a rectangle with a comb-like motif along one side and a zig-zag pattern along the other. Many weights show patterns consisting of spirals, circles, waves, zigzag lines, bars, comb-shapes, bows, or crosses (cf. Sheales, African Goldweights, 2014). Most argue that the similarities between Akan gold-weights and their Roman and Islamic counterparts indicate that Akan-speaking peoples adapted weight forms from their North African trading partners for their own use in the context of the gold trade (cf. Garrard, Akan Weights and the Gold Trade, pp. 4-5). Other scholars maintain that the graphic patterns on Akan gold-weights represent a symbolic language of indigenous origin. Following this interpretation, the gold-weight shown here shows the combined symbols of the sun (the zigzag line) and the moon (the edged teeth), or the potentially harmful rays of the "Fire of Heaven" and the life-giving rays of the Moon (Niangoran-Bouah, The Akan World of Gold Weights, Vol. 1, p. 248). Physical Description
Gold-weight in the shape of a rectangular base with a raised zig-zag pattern along one side and seventeen raised teeth along the other. Primary Object Classification Metalwork Primary Object TypegoldweightCollection AreaAfricanRights
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miniature (size attribute)