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Goldweight in the Form of a Mudfish

Culture Akan
Title Goldweight in the Form of a Mudfish
Date 19th–mid 20th century
Medium Brass
Dimensions Object: 7/8 × 1 1/4 × 1 3/4 in. (2.2 × 3.2 × 4.4 cm)
Overall: 7/8 × 1 1/4 × 1 3/4 in. (2.2 × 3.2 × 4.4 cm)
Credit Line Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Henry R. Hope, Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University
Accession Number 63.130

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About this Work

Before its independence, Ghana was known as the Gold Coast, and the Akan king was referred to as the "Lord of the Gold." For many centuries gold has been mined within Ghana, used as currency in the form of lumps and dust, and exported. When used as currency gold was weighed each time it exchanged hands. As a result all adults involved in trade owned their own set of weights, the forms and size of which depended on the status of the owner. Gold was placed on a scale using a spoon and then weighed against the typically brass weights.

Provenance research is ongoing for this and many other items in the Eskenazi Museum of Art permanent collection. For more information about the provenance of this artwork, please contact the department curator with specific questions.

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"Goldweight in the Form of a Mudfish | Collections Online." Collections Online. Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University, 2024.