Gold weight

CULTURE:
Asante peoples; Baule peoples; Senufo culture, possibly
DATE:
17th–19th century
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General Description

The earliest goldweights were made of stone, copper, iron, or basalt. As the trans-Saharan trade routes became more established, the Akan learned the technique of brass casting from their North African trading partners, which allowed them to create figurative goldweights. These utilitarian objects gained significance because their imagery signified a proverb or maxim.

This goldweight represents Amoaku and Adu, two childhood friends from wealthy families. When the duo reconnected in old age, they had both squandered their resources and were poor. Their story urges one not to waste opportunities. (Exasperated parents tell this story to their misbehaving children.)

Adapted from

  • Roslyn Walker, The Power of Gold: Asante Royal Regalia from Ghana, Gallery text, "Weighing Gold," 2018.

  • Roslyn Walker, The Power of Gold: Asante Royal Regalia from Ghana, Label text, 2018.