African art > Used objects, pulleys, boxes, loom, awale > Sickle Ngbaka

Ngbaka / Ngombe werpmes (N° 20723)

In northwestern Zaire, south of the Ubangi River,live the 6000 Moswea-Ngombe Bantu-speaking people. Their neighbors are the Ngbandi and the Ngbaka and various banda groups. They knew no god but expected favors from their ancestors, among them health and prosperity. Their throwing knives and parade weapons used for hunting were used as currency. This sickle knife with a copper ribbon handle has a blade incised with geometric patterns. Height on base: 48 cm. In Africa, before the colonial period, payments were never made in coins. Transactions were made with cowries, 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. In 1556 in Djenné, Jean-Léon l'Africain observed that the populations used iron to pay for "things of little value. The king generally controlled the production or the transport of the kingdom's money. The variety of these metallic forms is wide, and they sometimes take the form of particularly aesthetic non-figurative sculptures.  

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OriginEx-collection belge
EthnyNgbaka
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)metal
Height42
Width37
Weight1.30 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°
Socle includedYes

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