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Exceptional and rare Akan weight to weigh gold. Three right-facing swastikas are surmounted by two parallel lines, the outer right edge likewise presenting two long vertical lines. Each of the geometric signs refer to a unit of weight having a very specific value: the 'Ba' and the 'Takou'. The exceptional size and mass of this weight informs us of the fact that it was used on rare occasions, either for the evaluation of wealth, or for the payment of collective fines imposed on the village by certain great chiefs.
In Côte d'Ivoire in the countries of Agni, Akan, and Baoulé, transactions were made using gold powder and nuggets. Buyers and sellers then verified the quantities of gold with their personal weights, each transaction requiring a double weighing. For the geometric weights, the weight system then used included 7 series with geometric progressions. At the base of this weight system is found the seed of the Abrus Precatorius serving as a standard. The unit, the 'Ba' represents the weight of two of these seeds and the 'Takou' three seeds, the progression of the weights is then arithmetic.
Dimensions: 3.5 x 6.5 cm
Weight: 263 g
Provenance: Former Nicaud gallery - Paris
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|Location||38090, Villefontaine, France|