Spoon for Gold Dust

African, Ghana, Akan peoples
20th century
Artist Unidentified


Object Place: Ghana

Dimensions

Overall: 11.6 x 3.7 cm (4 9/16 x 1 7/16 in.)

Accession Number

2009.2542

Medium or Technique

Brass

Not On View

Collections

Africa and Oceania, Contemporary Art

Classifications

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. This spoon, used for placing gold dust on a scale to be weighed, would have been an integral component of any monetary transaction.

Provenance

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