|Title||Nkutshu Currency Croquet Wickets Kusu Congo African Art|
|Type of Object||Currency|
|Country of Origin||Democratic Republic of Congo|
|Approximate Age||20th century|
|Dimensions||Height: 14 Inches
Width: 12.5 Inches
Depth: 3 Inches
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