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Cast and sheet bronze, late 19th century, Ghana. Museum no. CIRC.707&A-1969
Natural gold resources generated wealth and influence for the Asante kingdom in Ghana, West Africa. From around 1600 small weights (mbrammoo) in brass and bronze were used to weigh gold dust, which was used for all commercial transactions. Loose gold dust, or small, pre-measured amounts wrapped in cloth and tied with thread for use in small purchases, were kept in small, cast-brass, rectangular boxes, or in oval or circular, sheet-brass ones. This rectangular box combines a sheet bronze base with a cast bronze lid. All types are called abampruwa or adakawa.
The lid of this box has a slightly raised geometric pattern. Mounted in the centre of the lid, facing along the length of the box, is the figure of a bird.