Jun 12, 2009

Disk Pendant (akrafokɔnmu)

Disk Pendant (akrafokɔnmu)

1800s

Gold

Diameter: 11 cm (4 5/16 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1952.84

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 ɔkradware, 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.

See also
Collection: 
African Art
Department: 
African Art
Type of artwork: 
Jewelry
Medium: 
Gold

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