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HOME : Islamic Art : AS.USA : Akan Gold Bead Necklace
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Akan Gold Bead Necklace - FJ.6946
Origin: Ghana, Ivory Coast
Circa: 16 th Century AD to 20 th Century AD

Collection: African
Medium: Gold


Additional Information: AS.USA

Location: United States
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Description
In many cultures throughout the world, gold has been associated with status, power, prestige and wealth. As early as the 15th century, European merchants wrote about the richness of African gold objects used for adornment and intended for public display. Gold deposits were discovered in all regions of Africa, and became the most important commodity during pre- colonial times. The region of the Akan, spreading from the forest zone and costal areas of Ghana to the southern shores of the Ivory Coast, is the richest auriferous zone in West Africa. Several individual tribes make up the Akan people, the Asante and Baule being among the most famous, all united by their common ancestry and language. The royal courts of the Akan people were reportedly the most splendid in Africa. Oral tradition and iconography in Akan works of art are very closely connected. Verbal and visual symbolism tells stories or proverbs. Imagery of royal power on court ornaments carry out messages that helps keep the balance and continuity within the society.

This sumptuous necklace, with its large central rectangular pendant, was surely intended for the chief of an Akan village or the king of an individual tribe. The central pendant is echoed by the series of smaller rectangular pendants and complimented by the other circular, spherical, and other various-shaped beads. This gorgeous necklace is so stunning not so much for the inherent worth and splendor of the material, but more for the outstanding artistry and workmanship. Gold is among the most treasured material on earth. However, this artist of this necklace has transformed the natural wonder of the gold into something even more precious: a masterpiece of African jewelry. - (FJ.6946)

 

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