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African art - African Currencies:

Primitive currencies in African art have always fascinated many renowned scholars. The large size of these objects surprises as it seems that it can hardly be transported. They may, besides the currency, be used as ornament in the form of bracelets, rings, necklaces.


Primitive currency Idoma
African art > African Currencies > Paléomonnaie

This primitive African currency takes the form of a flared blade under which volute arms emerge. The surface is hammered with notches forming a regular relief. The lower base, at the tip, could be recorded in the ground. In Africa, before the colonial period, payments were never made in coins. Transactions were made using cauris, pearls, cattle, kola nuts, but also metals, including iron in particular. These primitive currencies were used in trade, social exchanges, for dowries in particular, but could also constitute objects of parade or throw weapons. In Sierra Leone, goods were assessed against iron bars called barriferri. The king generally controlled the production or delivery of the kingdom's currency. The variety of these metallic forms is wide, and these sometimes take on the ...


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180.00

Nigeria s early Idoma currency
objet vendu
African art > African Currencies > Idoma Currency

This primitive African currency takes the form of a triangle extending into its lower part of a flat handle. Its surface is hammered with notches forming a regular relief. The tip base, could be recorded in the ground.
Oxid red ochre granular patina. In Africa, before the colonial period, payments were never made in coins. Transactions were made using cauris, pearls, cattle, kola nuts, but also metals, including iron in particular. These primitive currencies were used in trade, social exchanges, for dowries in particular, but could also constitute objects of parade or throw weapons. In Sierra Leone, goods were assessed against iron bars called barriferri. The king generally controlled the production or delivery of the kingdom's currency. The variety of these metallic forms is wide, ...

Currency Dance Stick Dadiya Jen nyi
African art > African Currencies > Dadiya Currency

This primitive iron coin whose blade evokes the head and beak of a bird has a handle whose lower end is wrapped in a metal strip ending in a twisted hook. The top is equipped with a small bell. This weapon originated in the Dadiya of northeastern Nigeria, and its use changed over time into a currency of exchange. Small ethnic groups, such as the Tula, Dadiya, Burak and Jen (or Dza) form an Adamawa-speaking people established in the Upper Benue region. The Dadiya produced wrought iron ceremonial weapons, used by young people initiated during the kal ( nyansanye) and dance spoilers named jen'nyi . In Africa, before the colonial period, payments were never made in coins. Transactions were made using cauris, pearls, cattle, kola nuts, but also metals, including iron in particular. These ...


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140.00

Primitive Mint Kirdi Matakam
African art > Usual african items > Matakam Currency

African art and jet weapons
The Matakam also called Mafa, from the group named Kirdi or "païens" by the Islamic peoples, are a population of Central Africa, mainly present in the far north of Cameroon, also in Nigeria. The Kirdi include the Matakam, Kapsiki, Margui, Mofou, Massa, Toupouri, Fali, Namchi, Bata, Do ayo... They live on agriculture, fishing and livestock. The Matakam are known to have been the first in contact with German settlers. Monotheists, they believe a "god of humans" named Jigilé whose spelling can vary. Nevertheless, they remain animistic and therefore make sure to attract and retain the benevolence of the forces of nature. The ancestors being the mediators between the world of the living and Jigilé, the Matakam practice the cult of ancestors. In Africa, before ...


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120.00

Primitive Idoma currency
objet vendu
African art > Usual african items > Idoma currency

This primitive African currency takes the form of a flared blade that extends from a flat handle. Its surface is hammered with notches forming a regular relief. The lower base, pointed, could be stuck in the ground. In Africa, before the colonial period, payments were never made in coins. The transactions were made by means of cowries, pearls, cattle, kola nuts, but also metals, including iron in particular. These primitive currencies were used during commercial and social exchanges, especially for dowries, but could also be parade objects or jet weapons. In Sierra Leone, goods were valued in relation to iron bars named barriferri. The king generally controlled the production or the conveyance of the currency of the kingdom. The variety of these metal forms is wide, and these sometimes ...


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Primitive Mint Mumuye, Chamba
African art > African Currencies > Mumuye Mint

Tribal art collection for sale by Jan Putteneers.
The tribal coins made of black iron in African art.
This primitive African coin is made up of two ringed iron rods forming a string-like arc. The arc extends from serpentiform elements with a soaring end. This item had currency value during the pre-colonial period in Nigeria. ( " The Perfect Form R. Ballarini, p.154)
Patina visibly old, light brown speckled with ochre.
From all times, people have used barter to exchange goods. Then came the first system of real currency, the small shells-porcelain called cauris. The African continent is particularly rich in so-called 'primitive' currencies. These valuable coins are made of black iron, a particularly sought-after metal, others are made of copper, more valuable than ...


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540.00

Bracelet / Primitive Benin Currency
objet vendu
African art > African bronze > Benin Currency

Steffen Patzwahl Collection.
African craftsmen and bracelets The state of Benin developed in southern Nigeria until the end of the 19th century, when the production of copper alloy ceremonial objects reinforced the divine character of the sovereign. Igueghae , a craftsman from Ifé, was commissioned to court Benin in the 14th century to teach the technique of cast iron with lost wax. The objects were made of brass (copper and zinc), more rarely bronze (copper and tin), extracted from the Bauchi mines in Nigeria, but also from the copper trade from the Maghreb. In the 15th century Europeans also imported metal in the form of shackles, which also became bargaining chips. (Laure Meyer) This adornment was a wedding bracelet that was part of the dowry. A chisel composed of fine linear and ...

Knife/Mongo/Konda
objet vendu
African art > African Currencies > Konda Sword

This blade is extended with a wooden pommel surrounded by a leather ribbon and then dyed black. The end of the blade flares. Oxidized metal, very beautiful patina of use.
The Mongo group living in northwestern Congo, is known for its costumes, weapons, and metal jewelry, not for its almost non-existent statuary. The Konda who used this type of short swords form one of the tribes of the group.
In Africa, before the colonial period, payments were never made in coins. Transactions were made using cauris, pearls, cattle, kola nuts, but also metals, including iron in particular. These primitive currencies were used in trade, social exchanges, for dowries in particular, but could also come from parade objects or throw weapons. In Sierra Leone, goods were valued against iron bars ...


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Early African currency
African art > African Currencies > Primitive currency

This primitive African currency takes the form of a hoe that extends from a flat handle. Its surface and contours are finely hatched. In Africa, before the colonial period, payments were never made in coins. Transactions were made using cauris, pearls, cattle, kola nuts, but also metals, including iron in particular. These primitive currencies were used in trade, social exchanges, for dowries in particular, but could also constitute objects of parade or throw weapons. In Sierra Leone, goods were assessed against iron bars called barriferri. The king generally controlled the production or delivery of the kingdom's currency. The variety of these metallic forms is wide, and these sometimes take on the appearance of particularly aesthetic non-figurative sculpture.


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190.00

Small currency Songye Kabengele
African art > African Currencies > African currency

In Africa, before the colonial period, payments were never made in coins. Transactions were made using cauris, pearls, cattle, kola nuts, but also metals, including iron in particular. These primitive currencies were used in trade, social exchanges, for dowries in particular, but could also come from parade objects or throw weapons. In Sierra Leone, goods were valued against iron bars named barriferri . In 1556 in Djenné Jean-Léon the African observed that the people used iron to pay " things of little value". The king generally controlled the production or delivery of the kingdom's currency. The variety of these metallic forms is wide, and these sometimes take on the appearance of particularly aesthetic non-figurative sculpture. This miniature hoe named Kabengele (pl. Tubengele) was used ...


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150.00

Kirdi Primitive Currency
objet vendu
African art > Usual african items > Kirdi Currency

Ex-Belgian African art collection.
The group named Kirdi or "païens" by the Islamic peoples, are a population of Central Africa, mainly present in the far north of Cameroon, also in Nigeria.The Kirdi include the Matakam, Kapsiki, Margui, Mofou, Massa, Toupouri, Fali, Namchi, Bata, Do ayo... They live on agriculture, fishing and livestock. This piece was one of the kind used in the 1950s in Nigeria to acquire a slave or a wife. It was necessary to gather about forty for a slave, and they were at that time part of the dowry for most Bantu tribes. In Africa, before the colonial period, payments were never made in coins. Transactions were made using cauris, pearls, cattle, kola nuts, but also metals, including iron in particular. These primitive currencies were used in trade, social ...


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Monnaie Croisette Handa du Katanga
objet vendu
African art > African Currencies > Katanga Currency

The first coins Handa , also named Lukanu, or copper crucifixes, Croisettes of Katanga, or cross of Saint Andrew , appear in the 13th century in tombs throughout the Shaba region, at the same time as the cainis and p glass paste, also used as a means of payment. Although associated with funeral rituals, during the 18th and 19th centuries, they were the tax that copper-producing regions owed to the Lunda Empire, a territory covering Katanga, northern Zambia and eastern Angola. Arab merchants also used it in trade routes stretching from Kenya to eastern Angola. Hungarian ethnologist Torday found that 3 to 5 of these crucifixes ranging from 0.275 to 2 kg were needed to acquire a male slave and 5 to 10 for a woman. They were used until the 1920s when they were used to obtain poultry, fabrics, ...

Currency / Chamba-type tool
objet vendu
African art > African Currencies > Chamba Currency

African art is very rich in these currencies that were found all over the continent. The handle here is divided into two flat spiral patterns, and extends with a blade decorated with fine parallel incisions.
These black iron blades were used as a bargaining chip but also for offerings, wedding dowries and for large festive and ceremonial occasions.
"Before the colonial era, payments in Africa were never made through coins. The transactions were made using products considered precious, because they were rare, useful, or desirable: cattle, fabric parts, pearls, cauris, salt, kola nuts, and especially metals. But it was mostly iron that attracted attention. It quickly became the unit of measurement against which all other commodities were assessed. Laure Adler


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Katanga Handa Croisette
objet vendu
African art > African Currencies > Katanga Currency

The first coins Handa , also named Lukanu, or copper crucifixes, The Katanga , or cross of Saint Andrew , appear in the 13th century in tombs throughout the Shaba region, at the same time as the cainis and p glass paste, also used as a means of payment. Although associated with funeral rituals, during the 18th and 19th centuries, they were the tax that copper-producing regions owed to the Lunda Empire, a territory covering Katanga, northern Zambia and eastern Angola. Arab merchants also used it in trade routes stretching from Kenya to eastern Angola. Hungarian ethnologist Torday found that 3 to 5 of these crucifixes ranging from 0.275 to 2 kg were needed to acquire a male slave and 5 to 10 for a woman.
They were used until the 1920s when they were used to obtain poultry, cloths, ...


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Monnaie Kapsiki
objet vendu
African art > Usual african items > Monnaie Kapsiki

Palaeomancers in traditional African art The Kapsiki form one of the ethnic groups that make up the Kirdi group established in the extreme north of Cameroon. These "pagans "(Kirdi) as the Islamized peoples have named them, include the Matakam, Kapsiki, Margui, Mofou, Massa, Toupouri, Fali, Namchi, Bata, Do ayo ... They live from farming, fishing and breeding, the blade attached to a neck was also used as currency, losing then. In Africa, before the colonial period, payments were never made in coins .The transactions were made using cowries, pearls, cattle, kola nuts, but also metals. In Sierra Leone, the goods were evaluated in relation to iron bars called barriferri. In 1556 in Djenné Jean-Léon the African observed that the populations used the iron to pay of the things. The king ...


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African Sword Currency Chamba
objet vendu
African art > African Currencies > Chamba Weapon

Two spirals on either side of a tip form the handle of this weapon. The blade that continues at the tip bears fine patterns in parallel and broken lines. Oxidized granular patina. This piece is thought to be of Chamba origin in Nigeria.
Installed since the 17th century on the south bank of the Benue river in Nigeria, the Chamba have resisted attempts to conquer the Fulani, nomads who settled in large numbers in northern Nigeria. They are known for their famous buffalo mask with its two flat jaws extending the head. The less frequent statuary is divided into protective figures (tauwa, sing. tau) which are kept in a box to the left of the entrance of the concession, and in statues of ancestors, kona. In Africa, before the colonial period, payments were never made in coins. ...

Iron currency Mumuye
African art > African Currencies > Iron currency

This piece of currency is formed by two big iron bars twisted together like a rope-like shape. This model circulated in Nigeria in the pré-colonial years.


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550.00

Ngombe-type jet currency/knife
African art > Usual african items > Ngombe Currency

Ex-French African art collection.
In the north-west of Zaire, south of Oubangui, live the 6000 Moswea-Ngombe of Bantu language. Their neighbours are the Ngbandi and the Ngbaka and various groups banda . They knew no god but expected favors from their ancestors, including health and prosperity. Their jet knives used for hunting were used as coins. This faucille knife with a handle wrapped in twisted copper wire has a blade coated with a chipped oxidized patina. In Africa, before the colonial period, payments were never made in coins. Transactions were made using cauris, pearls, cattle, kola nuts, but also metals, including iron in particular. These primitive currencies were used in trade, social exchanges, for dowries in particular, but could also constitute objects of parade or ...


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180.00

Primitive African Currency / Serpe Matakam
African art > Usual african items > Matakam Currency

Ex-Italian African art collection.
The Matakam also called Mafa are a population of Central Africa, mainly present in the far north of Cameroon, also in Nigeria.They are known to have been the first in contact with German settlers. Monotheists, they believe a "god of humans" named Jigilé whose spelling can vary. Nevertheless, they remain animistic and therefore make sure to attract and retain the benevolence of the forces of nature. The ancestors being the mediators between the world of the living and Jigilé, the Matakam practice the cult of ancestors. In Africa, before the colonial period, payments were never made in coins. Transactions were made using cauris, pearls, cattle, kola nuts, but also metals, including iron in particular. These primitive currencies were used in trade, ...





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