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1 1/4 x 1 3/8 x 5/8 in. (3.2 x 3.5 x 1.6 cm)
Medium and Support:
R. T. Miller Fund
Location: Currently on view
Fueled by rich deposits of gold, the Asante engaged in extensive trade relations with European and African nations. Buyers and vendors used brass weights such as these to counterbalance gold dust on scales. Each Asante family had their own set of brass pieces. Unsurprisingly the vendors’ weights were often too heavy and the buyer’s weights too light. Many goldweights represented local proverbs with social or moral meanings that served as ethical reminders during the sometimes fraught ordeal of gold-weighing. If this weight was associated with a proverb, the cultural association has been lost to us.
[Gallery label text, 2009]