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Igbo Brass Currency Spiral Bracelet Nigeria African Art

$250.00
Product #: 100622
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Title Igbo Brass Currency Spiral Bracelet Nigeria Africa
Type of Object Bracelet - currency
Country of Origin Nigeria
People Igbo
Materials Brass / Copper Alloy
Approximate Age unknown
Dimensions 11.5 inches long x 4.5 inches diameter
Overall Condition Good. 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 tarnishing, scrapes, dirt and general wear


Additional Information:  The brass, bronze or opper-alloy works are in fact stylistically located to a shrine and town rather than to single ethnic group. Numbers of copper-alloy bracelets, manilas, torques, figures and animal skulls have been found and in the past have been generally attributed to the “Lower Niger Bronze Industry”, after this original appellation by W. Fagg (1963). Bracelet forms such as this preceded European contact. As noted by Peek and Nicklin (2002:54) Portuguese traders developed their copper-alloy manila forms after bracelet prototypes found at Obolo, a shrine and burial place for the Obolo or Andoni people. Twisted and in this case also knotted were worn during funerals on wrists of ankles. This bracelet could be part of burial material found close to the area of the shrine identified as Yok-Obolo where the town of Obolo was a principle suppliers of copper alloy cast bracelets, manilas and toques to the region.
In 1698, Barbot wrote from Old Calabar, "The English and Dutch import a great deal of copper in small bars round and equal about 3 feet long weighing about a pound and a quarter, which the Blacks of Calabar work with much art, splitting the bar into 3 parts from one end to the other, which they polish as fine as gold and twist the 3 pieces together very ingeniously like cords to make what sorts of arm rings they please." He also said that these copper bars, as was also the case with iron bars, were trading currency, i.e. were used only in transactions between Europeans and natives, the latter working them into various objects such as arm rings mentioned above, which he called Bochie. - Johansson, Nigerian Primitive Currencies p.44.


Bibliography: Anderson, G.P. and P. M. Peek, Ways of the River: Arts and Environment of the Niger Delta, 2002.Fagg, W. Nigerian Images: The Splendor of African Sculpture. 1963.Johansson, Nigerian Primitive Currencies. 1967. Schaedler, K-F. Earth and Ore; 2500 Years of African Art in Terracotta and Metal. 1997. P. 328, ill. 640.