African art > Usual items > Ekonda Knife
Sword Ekonda of Konda, Congo (N° 17164)
Finely chiseled blade extended with a wooden handle wrapped in thin strips of metal.
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The Mongo group living in northwestern Congo, is renowned 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 currants, pearls, cattle, kola nuts, but also metals, especially iron. These primitive coins were used in trade, social exchanges, for dowries in particular, but could also come from parade objects or jet weapons. In Sierra Leone, goods were valued against iron bars named barriferri . In 1556 in Djenné Jean-Léon the African observed that people used iron to pay for things of little value. 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 sculpture.
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