TitleTrade item from the Congo
40 cm H x 20 cm W x 8 cm D Item (Overall)
DescriptionSpade shaped item used as money in the Congo.
According to the Smithsonian website; While implements such as hoes, throwing knives and other weapons serve a utilitarian function, in some cases these objects were also used as currency. Fabricated from copper, bronze, iron and brass, these objects constitute some of the most dramatic and varied of African currency forms. Hoe money came in the shape of a heart, spade, paddle, teardrop, trowel, anchor or blade. In fact, the shapes began to overlap the objects classified as knives or blades. Hoe money varied in value, but most often it was used as bridewealth. Bridewealth is the exchange of currency or valuable goods and services to acknowledge all that the bride brings to her husband and his family, including the hope of descendants. Hoe money was also frequently reformed into other objects or implements as needed.
Related People and Organizations
Geographic NotesDemocratic Republic of the Congo
Geographic NamesDR Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, AF [-2.5,23.5] [id:203312]