African art > Currencies > Mumuye Mint

Primitive Mint / North Zaire Adornment (N° 13707)

Jan Putteneers tribal art collection for sale.

This ringed torque, prestige adornment whose finely hammered ends with decorative motifs flare into flats, was used in North Zaire during the pre-colonial era for commercial transactions, among many other goods, such as jewelry, weapons, curies, fabrics, etc. An identical model (ill.67) appears on page 115 of the book African Objects de Laure Meyer.La dowry also consisted of jewels, necklaces, arm rings, ankles, having value of change. They were also supposed to protect against various scourges. Copper metal, for example, associated with the prestige of royalty, was more popular than gold in central and southern Africa. In the 15th century, Europeans also imported metal in the form of shackles, which became bargaining chips. In Africa, before the colonial period, payments were never made in coins. Transactions were made using currants, pearls, cattle, kola nuts, but also metals, especially iron. These primitive currencies were used in trade, social exchanges, for dowries in particular, but could also constitute parade objects or jet weapons. In Sierra Leone, goods were valued against iron bars called barriferri. The king generally controlled the production or movement of the kingdom's currency. The variety of these metallic forms is wide, and these sometimes take on the allure of particularly aesthetic non-figurative sculptures.  

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OriginCollection J. Putteneers
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)fer noir
Height30
Width17
Weight0.78 Kg
Estimated datingfin xixe
Socle includedYes

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