Object Place: Nigeria
Overall: 25.4 x 15.2 cm (10 x 6 in.)
Medium or Technique
Not On View
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.
Between the 1980s and 1990s, acquired in Paris by anonymous donors; 2009, anonymous gift to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 20, 2010)