Box for Gold Dust

African, Ghana, Akan peoples
20th century
Artist Unidentified

Object Place: Ghana


Overall: 2 x 6.2 cm (13/16 x 2 7/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


Africa and Oceania, Contemporary Art


Decorative arts

Among the Akan speaking peoples of present-day Ghana, gold was both an essential commodity and a symbol of prestige. Gold was believed to have special powers and was included in human burials and protective medicines. A box such as this one would have been used to store gold dust or gold nuggets, which served as the primary form of currency.


Geneviève McMillan (b. 1922 - d. 2008), Cambridge, MA; 2008, to the Geneviève McMillan and Reba Stewart Foundation, Cambridge; 2009, gift of the Geneviève McMillan and Reba Stewart Foundation to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 17, 2009)

Credit Line

Gift of Geneviève McMillan in memory of Reba Stewart