Africa, Tarumba. Huge iron spear currency
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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: African: Artifacts: Pre 1900: item # 1008440
Please refer to our stock # A0610B324 when inquiring.
Ancient Resource, LLC
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|A large example of iron spear currency, Tarumba, D. R. Congo, 19th Century. This large example is from the Kisangani region, between Lomami and Lualaba Rivers and measures 5’ 3 1/2” and were used by the Tarumba and Likele people as bride price. Intact, one corner bent. Nicely mounted on custom base. The institution of bride wealth exists throughout Africa, having counterparts in the custom of the European dowry and, to a lesser extent, in prenuptial agreements. The institution does not refer to purchasing a wife, but to compensating the bride's family for the loss of its daughter's services, which will now benefit her new family. The typical scenario requires the groom, or the family of the groom, to provide gifts, or bride price, to the family of the bride. Many objects were acceptable as bride wealth, but among the most striking were the enormous iron blades of the Tarumba peoples. These spear blades span up to five feet long and typically weigh as much as four and a half pounds. The size of the blade determined its relative value. The blades served as a measure of wealth and were usually not converted into more utilitarian objects. If the marriage failed, the groom's family would attempt to reclaim the bride wealth.|