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Unknown Maker
Goldweight (Abrammuo): Winnowing Tray Goldweight (Abrammuo): Winnowing Tray
19th century 19th century

Akan artists drew from all aspects of daily life in producing goldweights for use in commerce. This photograph depicts three Akan goldweights, or mrammuo, from the Lang collection: a winnowing tray used for sifting grain, and a shield and musical horn, both of which were used in battle.

The oblong shape of the shield imitates the wicker framework used for warriors¿ shields and may relate to the proverb ¿When a shield wears out, the frame remains,¿ meaning ¿Men die but their works live on.¿ The nine balls on the shield are bells, which would have rung noisily when a group of warriors moved in ritual procession or in battle.

The six serrated objects adorning the mouth of the side-blown musical horn represent the jawbones of slain enemies. ¿If a horn deserves a jawbone, they attach one to it¿ is the relevant proverb that recognizes that battle success must be well-earned.

 
Unknown Maker
Akan peoples Akan peoples
Goldweight (Abrammuo): Winnowing Tray Goldweight (Abrammuo): Winnowing Tray
19th century 19th century
metal alloy metal alloy
height / width / depth: 8.50 x 5.40 x .30 cm; 3.35 x 2.13 x .12 in.
Gift of Justin and Elisabeth Lang, 1984 Gift of Justin and Elisabeth Lang, 1984
M84-534

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