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HOME : African & Tribal Art : Akan Gold : Gold Benfra Bracelet
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Gold Benfra Bracelet - RP.011
Origin: Ghana
Circa: 18 th Century AD
Dimensions: 4.33" (11.0cm) high
Collection: African
Medium: Gold


Location: UAE
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Description
This dramatic bracelet would once have been worn by a chieftain or queen-mother from the Akan peoples. They are known as benfra (benfena or berenfena) bracelets and are usually worn on the left-wrist or forearm. They are cast in two halves and joined by a pin. They do not seem to have any specific symbolic meaning beyond a desire for conspicuous display of wealth. The finest, like this example, have a complex spiky design with additional incisions of parallel lines and concentric circles. They were hollow-cast around a clay core and then decorated with modelled designs. They are also known to have been produced in silver or gilded wood.

Ref: T.F. Garrard, ‘Gold of Africa: Jewellery and Ornaments from Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali and Senegal in the Collection of the Barbier-Mueller Museum,’ (Munich, 1989, pp.70-71). - (RP.011)

 

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