Our museum is temporarily closed to support the effort to contain the spread of COVID-19. Read a message from our director, and check our website and social media for updates.

Bundle of Spears, Gabon

Bundle of Spears, Gabon

Usage conditions apply
Downloads
Description
Various West African communities produced metal currency in the shapes of spears and other weapons for specific kinds of exchange, such as ceremonial payments for marriages (bridewealth). They were made from a range of metals including iron, copper, brass, and bronze. While they were typically not designed for use, they could be melted down and transformed into weapons, tools, or ornaments.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
Iron Spears, Miniature
alternative currency
date made
n.d.
place used
Gabon
associated place
Gabon
Physical Description
formed by hand (overall production method/technique)
black/brown (overall color)
iron (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 8 cm x 10 cm; 3 5/32 in x 3 15/16 in
ID Number
NU.70.80.18
catalog number
70.80.18
accession number
288726
Credit Line
Mendel Peterson
See more items in
Work and Industry: National Numismatic Collection
West African Currency
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.

Comments

Add a comment about this object