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Disk Pendant (akrafokɔnmu)

1800s
Diameter: 11 cm (4 5/16 in.)
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Did You Know?

Gold miners from the Akan region once mined gold to make local objects like this and to supply gold for trade across trans-Saharan routes and into places as far away as Europe.

Description

Gold discs dangling on the chests of Akan state officials and elites showed their rank and duties. Worn by these akrafo (“soul people”) since the 1800s, they are often linked to kradware, officials who represent and purify (“wash”) the king’s soul. To make them, goldsmiths cast or flattened gold. Muslim North African gold coins likely inspired their form and material, while concentric water rings influenced their composition. This small disc is typical of pre-colonial examples. Gold ornament making ceased until 1924; court officials now wear large discs.
Disk Pendant (akrafokɔnmu)

Disk Pendant (akrafokɔnmu)

1800s

Africa, West Africa, Ghana, Asante Empire/ Kingdom, member of the goldsmiths’ guild

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