Over 600 years ago the Akan began making brass weights for measuring gold dust, the currency of their region in Ghana and the Ivory Coast. They eventually produced the most complete three-dimensional inventory in any culture in history.
Here is a selection of more than 500 weights chosen for their artistry and interest, accompanied by a full descriptive text about their history, styles, and modes of manufacture. Virtually every animal, bird, fish, or object known to the Akan became the subject of a miniature sculpture. Human figures are represented in the activities of everyday life and sacred or courtly rituals. 248 color photographs