Africa Direct
Africa Direct

Topoke Iron Spear Currency Linganda or Doa African Art

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Title Topoke Iron Spear Currency Linganda or Doa African Art
Type of Object Currency
Country of Origin Democratic Republic of Congo
People Topoke
Materials Iron
Approximate Age Early to mid 20th century
Dimensions 56 inches tall x 8.25 inches wide
Overall Condition Poor.   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 Rusting surface, cracks, holes, and chip at edges, bent

Additional Information: Large forged blades such as this in the shape of a spearpoint were well used into the middle of the 20th century as currency and during marriage ceremonies. They are known under several names: dihunga (for small examples); doa (for larger examples). Other names are: Linganda and Ngbele. During marriage ceremonies up to 60 doa might be exchanged for the bride. These were specially shaped to look like spearpoints but were too thin and long to serve as such. These unique currency forms were well worked and were often embellished with a number of parallel lines close to the edges.

The surface of this currency shows some age. This may be an early or mid 20th century example. It comes from the Topoke people who live in the Equatorial region of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
For more information and similar examples see: Roberto Ballarini, Black Africa's Traditional Arms, Africa Curios, Milano, 1992, figs, 66a-66b, pp. 106-107

I have examined this piece and agree with the description.
Niangi Batulukisi, PhD.