Goldweight in the shape of a fan: a small, thin handle attached to a flat, spherical form, with a spiraling motif coming out of the center; the attachment of the handle to the circular shape is by way of a semi-circle, decorated with a spiraling motif flowing in the opposite direction.
Fans are commonly used among the Asante and other Akan-speaking people of Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire-- to cool a king or queen in court or in public, for example. Fans were made of strips of palm leaves and worked into various forms using basketry weaving techniques. Here such a fan is reproduced as a gold weight-- one example of the representation of utilitarian and courtly objects in Akan goldweights.
Goldweight in the shape of a gun cartridge belt with attached powder bag and horn.
Some of the figurative weights used by Akan-speaking peoples in Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire took the form of important items of regalia, referring to a ruler's spiritual, political or military powers. This weight depicts the elaborately decorated cartridge belt with powder bag and horn worn by the official sword bearers who served Asante rulers. More specifically, it might depict the gun cartridge of the legendary general Akowua, about whom a proverb says: "The gun cartridge-belt of Akowu has never been known to lack bullets" ("Atuduro asa a, nnye Akowua ntoa mu a"). In other words, the proverb, and the goldweight that expresses it in visual form, remind the viewer or listener of the importance of resourcefulness and preparedness.
Red, felt, miter-shaped hat with lateral flaps that terminate in gold-colored tassles. An internal wood frame sewn inot the central "spine" of the hat keeps its peaked shape. Two figures are delicately embroidered with yellow thread, one on each side of the hat. The figre on its left resembles a lizard with a small round head and long tail. The figure on the right is human and appears to be wearing a costume. A narrow strip of green fabric covers the extermal, central spine or seam of the hat. The hat's interior is green.
Peaked or “miter-style” hats are found in many parts of west Africa. This hat is of undetermined origin and might best be viewed as a visual document of aesthetic mixing between several different cultural groups. Its color and shape suggest it may haven been inspired by a type known in the Mande language as bambada, or crocodile’s mouth, named for the lateral tapers that resemble the open jaws of a crocodile, which was worn by warriors of the Mande-speaking groups from the western Sahel. The fine stitch work and design resembles that of Manding embroiderers, whose designs can be found on garments throughout the region. The hat also resembles a style worn by men in western Cameroon, which was strongly influenced by Hausa fashions brought by traders from northern Nigeria in the late 19th century.
A square, leather purse with tassels hanging off the bottom. A triangle is sewed onto the top of the bag. The leather of the purse is brown, but is also decorated with purple, yellow, and green stripes.
Miter-shaped hat with double layer of fabric made from whorls of light-colored cotton applique on dark green velveteen ground. Sides of hat terminate in red tassels. Front edge of hat is trimmed with red fabric.
In the Grassfields region of western Cameroon, his type of hat was reserved for chiefs and elders to denote their authority. Its style of appliqué is influenced by Hausa aesthetic ideas.