Requires Photography

Hoe currency

Afo peoples
20th century


Object Place: Nigeria

Dimensions

Overall: 25.4 x 15.2 cm (10 x 6 in.)

Accession Number

2009.5356

Medium or Technique

Iron

Not On View

Collections

Africa and Oceania, Contemporary Art

Classifications

Numismatics

These spade-like iron forms were used amongst the Afo of Nigeria as currency for large transactions. They used these during ceremonies and in family negotiations for bridewealth. Iron had value thoughout Africa as it could easy be melted and converted into a number of different tools that were necessary in day to day life, making it practical as a broad base currency. Iron currency of this size can weigh upwards of 10 pounds.

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