Curious Objects : Asante gold weights

Curious Objects

<p style='text-align: justify;'>Gold dust functioned as a universal medium of exchange in West Africa, measured on scales according to a standardised system of weights. The weights and boxes for storing gold dust were decorated with geometric and figurative designs. Figurative designs featured a wide range of animate and inanimate objects such as animals, fish, insects and birds, and musical instruments, tools, weapons and status objects. Human figures were also sculpted, such as the drummer shown here, part of a set of gold weights, balance scale, scoop and boxes.</p> <p style='text-align: justify;'> <iframe width="600" height="480" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="true" mozallowfullscreen="true" webkitallowfullscreen="true" onmousewheel=""></iframe> <br /> <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>Asante gold weights</a> by <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>Cambridge Digital Library</a> on <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>Sketchfab</a> </p> <p style='text-align: justify;'>The significance of gold weights as an art form transcends their economic function, sometimes alluding to proverbs and folktales and reflecting wider Asante spiritual beliefs and cultural practices. This set was purchased from a Hausa trader by D. M. Lawson while he worked as a telegraph engineer in the Gold Coast between 1926 and 1932, and later donated to the Royal Commonwealth Society.</p>

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