This miniature bronze gold weight depicts the mythical Sankofa bird - a bird that looks backwards. In Akan culture, the imagery of the Sankofa bird has the attendant proverb 'If it lies behind you, take it', which means to make use of the lessons of the past. Cast by Akan goldsmiths, small gold weights (mrammou) such as this were used to weigh gold dust - the currency of the Akan and potent symbol of kra (life-force).
Estimated Period: 19th Century/20th Century
Tom Phillips, African Goldweights: Miniature Sculptures from Ghana 1400-1900, p. 104
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