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Kirdi Scythe Blade Currency Iron Cameroon African Art

Regular Price: $95.00

Special Price: $49.00

Product #: 112421
US Shipping: $22.98
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Title Kirdi Scythe Blade Currency Iron Cameroon African Art
Type of Object Currency
Country of Origin Cameroon
People Kirdi
Materials Iron blade
Approximate Age Unknown
Dimensions Height: 25.25 Inches
Width: 3.75 Inches
Overall Condition Fair. Most of our pieces have spent decades on at least two continents, and have been treasured by several owners.   Small splits, scrapes and cracks are a normal part of their patina attesting to their age and extensive use.  We examine each piece carefully when we receive it and report any damage we find in our listings.  Please look carefully at the pictures which may also reveal condition and damage.
Damage/Repair handle is broken off; rust, stains, dented blade

Additional Information:

 The wonderful variety of metal objects found in Africa is essentially a function of the need to trade and store wealth. These carefully-forged pieces were used for large, though infrequent, purchases of land or animals, and the transfer of wealth at major events such as births and initiations. The most commonplace use of iron and other metal objects was as "brideprice," the compensation of a family for the loss of a daughter to marriage. Most of these "currencies" were developed alongside traditional metal objects such as blades, tools, bracelets and anklets. While some pieces continued to be used for work or decorative purposes, most evolved into "pure" money, unusable except as objects recognized, prized and accepted widely as payment. 

The Matakam are also known as 'Kirdi' or 'pagans', a name given to them by the Islamized Kanuri or Fulani who came into the area sometime during the 1600s. The Matakam or Kirdi live in small farming communities and are known for their arts of personal adornments, especially those made of iron including the 'cache sexes,' as well as necklaces, bracelets and other attachments worn on the belt supporting their 'aprons'. Composed of small iron strips the pubic aprons were worn by mature married women indicating their elevated status in Kirdi society.