African art > Coins in bronze, black iron and other materials > Congo Currency

Kongo arrowhead coin (N° 21279)

The blade of the sword, weapon of prestige then currency of transaction, surmounted a wooden handle. Oxidized patina. In Africa, before the colonial period, payments were never made in coins. Transactions were made with cowrie shells, beads, cattle, kola nuts, but also metals, especially iron. These primitive currencies were used for commercial and social exchanges, particularly for dowries, but could also be used as parade objects or throwing weapons. In Sierra Leone, goods were valued in relation to iron bars called barriferri. The king usually controlled the production or delivery of the kingdom's currency. The variety of these metal forms is wide, and they sometimes take the form of particularly aesthetic non-figurative sculptures.  

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Originex-collection française
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)fer noir
Height cm20
Width3 cm
Weight0.21 Kg
Socle includedYes

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