Requires Photography

Coil currency

Igbo peoples
20th century


Object Place: Nigeria

Dimensions

Overall: 71.1 x 23.5 cm (28 x 9 1/4 in.)

Accession Number

2009.5351

Medium or Technique

Iron

Not On View

Collections

Africa and Oceania, Contemporary Art

Classifications

Numismatics

This unusual type of currency resembles coiled currency used by the Igbo of Southeastern Nigeria. It was probably used in major transactions such as such as a groom paying bridewealth to the family of his bride. Iron currency occured in many regions throughout Africa. Expert smiths could melt and forge it into different tools that were necessary in day to day life, making it a preferred and useful standard of value.

Provenance

Between the 1980s and 1990s, acquired in Paris by anonymous donors; 2009, anonymous gift to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 20, 2010)

Credit Line

Anonymous gift