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Nkutshu Currency Croquet Wickets Kusu Congo African Art

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Title Nkutshu Currency Croquet Wickets Kusu Congo African Art
Type of Object Currency
Country of Origin Democratic Republic of Congo
People Nkutshu
Materials Copper
Approximate Age 20th century
Dimensions Height: 14 Inches
Width: 12.5 Inches
Depth: 3 Inches
Overall Condition Fair
Damage/Repair Some rust

Additional Information: Copper currencies were shaped by blacksmiths of the Bushango, Bankutu or Nkutshu people of the greater Congo region. They were first forged round and then refolded with forged discs at the ends. These hand worked copper forms served as currency and were known as "boloko, okanu or konga'. Though no longer used, this sculpted shaping of functional forms represents the blending of art and commerce in a simple and abstracted shape. They are sought after as examples of African sculpture and are becoming increasingly difficult to obtain.

See Schaedler's EARTH AND ORE-2500 YEARS OF AFRICAN ART IN TERRA COTTA AND METAL, which has an article on primitive money by Gunter Kuhn, with illustration and description of these pieces.

See a similar example in Roberto Ballarini, Black Africa's Traditional Arms, Africa urio, Milano, 1992, fig. 68, p. 110