Akan Gold weights

The « Poids Akan » are gold weights that were used since the 13th century during the trades. They are small figurines of bronze and brass obtained by the melting technique using liquid wax.
The Akan are a big ethnic group living in various countries of West Africa ; some of those countries are Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo. Within the Akan group, the people speak various dialects and bear different names. You will find The Fantis and Ashantis in Ghana, the Baoule, Agni, Abron, Ebrie, and so on in Côte d’Ivoire.
The Akan weights were used until the late 19th century as a yardstick for weighing small gold nuggets and gold dust, which were currency exchange prevailing at that time.
Some Akan weights, with varied geometric forms and sometimes with scriptures, were also used as a means of communication that only initiated people knew to decipher.
Other weights depicted animals, weapons, characters or things of everyday life. All these weights were jealously guarded in families and represented symbols of wealth.
Among the Akan, gold hold a very valuable and sacred character and gives wealth and power to families or individuals who own them. Gold is transmitted in heritage, being passed on from generation to generation. Even today, during traditional ceremonies, Akan women but also Akan men wear heavy ornaments made out of Akan gold weights.
In Côte d’Ivoire, the Akan weights are best known as « poids Baoulé » referring to the ethnic subgroup who still produces them the traditional way.

Oryah uses the akan weights to produce modern and stylish jewelries.


Check them out in Oryah Shop.

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