African Sickle Currency with Figure

c. 1950
$580 USD
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W: 8.5" D: 4.0" H: 21.25"
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Many pre-coinage African currencies were formed after objects of inherent practical value. This sickle-form iron currency created by an artisan of the Matakam people of Cameroon was shaped after a hand-held sickle to honor the community's reliance on the tool for agricultural harvest. Sickle currencies were also used during ritual dances at the beginning of the dry season, carried above the head to ensure renewed fertility and abundant harvests. Decorated with a carved figure at the hilt, this sickle currency shows design elements from multiple cultures, suggesting it was created as a decorative object not strictly for ritual use. We've elevated the sickle on a custom steel mount for display as a storied sculptural object.

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