Gold weight

CULTURE:
Asante peoples; Baule peoples; Senufo culture, possibly
DATE:
18th–19th century
more object details

General Description

Proverb: _It it always too late to say "Had I known!" _

Meaning: There is no use in looking backwards; hindsight is futile.

This goldweight shaped as a long-horned antelope is associated with the proverb above. 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.

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.