Kuba, Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire)
34"L X 2.5"W X 1"D
African currency pieces were used for major purchases (land, animals, dowries) and to signify a transfer of wealth at major events, such as a coming of age ceremony or death. Many forms developed from traditional and useful metal objects like tools, weapons, bracelets or anklets. Although some continued to be functional for work or decoration, most evolved into "pure" currency, deliberately unusable except as a payment. This shape was inspired by a Kuba spear. Its sculptural shape satisfy the aesthetic criteria we so appreciate in African art.