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     The bracelet is the most common money form in Africa. It served the important monetary functions of portability and wealth display.Variants of this form were accepted virtually everywhere in Africa, with the result that today it is often difficult to know where a particular type originated or was used, and to what extent it was either money or jewelry. My essay African Bracelet Money: Unanswered Questions surveys what we do know about bracelets and manillas. For purposes of this listing I have somewhat arbitrarily extracted the Calabar rod pieces (perhaps earliest bracelet forms), the manillas (best documented as money), and legbands (differently worn) as separate categories and have partial listings of these forms here.
     References to bracelet monies in anthropological literature, gallery catalogs and collector references is scattered. Opitz's An Ethnographic Study of Traditional Monies has a good selection, and other useful references are described here. Wilfried Glar is in the process of self-publishing a series of German-language books on African bracelets, with excellent color photos and a great deal of information on their tribal attribution, uses, and symbolism. Vol. 1 covers Senufo; Vol. 2 Kapsiki; Vol. 3 Lobi; Vol. 4 Grunshi, and Vol. 5 Kapsiki.
     NOT WEARABLE: We do not recommend buying bracelets to be worn by modern Western adults - most are simply not large enough.
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MEDIEVAL SAHEL



      The ancient city of Jenné-Jeno on the upper Niger river was an important center in the trade-based Empires of Mali and later Songhay until 1591 when conquered by the Sharifs of Morocco. Jenné and Timbuktu, farther north in this Inland Delta region (now Mali) were links on the trade routes between Egypt and the western coast of sub-Saharan Africa via the Senegal river. There are Arab traveler accounts of copper bracelets used as money in 1068 AD farther east on the trade route at Takkkur. Manillas brought to the west coast by early European traders moved quickly upriver to this region, in fact creating the first large-scale demand for slaves, as porters. Today it is an artifact-rich area and one of the major foci of African archaeological research.
      The present group of bracelet money is not properly a hoard, as it came to me along with, though separated from, more modern types in several batches between 1987 and 1994. All are said to originate in the Jenné-Jeno area. This group is distinguished by the heavy green patination found on most pieces, in marked contrast to the clean appearance of other bracelets, by its pure copper composition, and by types not found elsewhere. Not knowing the soil conditions in which these pieces were buried, it is difficult to estimate their age on this basis, though I would speculate that the soil was probably fairly dry. Blandin illustrates eight bracelets, currently in the Musé de l'Homme,which were excavated by a Colonial administrator near Goundam (S. of Timbuktu), one of which matches exactly a piece in this hoard and the others of similar style.
      As to manufacture, there is a wide range of sophistication in the group, from simple drawn wire of medium gauge bent in crescent shape to lovely, detailed pieces depicting a king's stool or a corpse laid out for burial. Most of the pieces are cast, probably in open moulds, though the more elaborate pieces are probably cierré-perdu, a technology which predates coastal European contact. Given our current minimal state of knowledge, the most to be said for dating is that these are the oldest available bracelet monies of African origins, are possibly prototypes of some later, sub-Saharan types. They may have been made anywhere from before 1100 AD to somewhat after 1600 AD.
      The weights of individual pieces do not appear to show any denominational system, though specimens of the commoner types often cluster within a few grams and can be very similar in diameter (esp. 264h,k,m). It is tempting to posit a size rather than weight-based metrology for other types (246s,t). The group consists of 200 pieces offered below, plus some fragments, and 63 unusual or single types to be photographed and offered individually. Census figures for each type are shown in parentheses. Ranges of weight, diameter, and thickness are given by type. Unless noted, all are red copper with some degree of green patination; many have been lightly wire brushed to remove heavy soil and flaky or powdery green. If you have a preference for either "clean" or "green" let me know so I can select appropriate specimens. Pieces shown when clicking on thumbnails are typical examples, while pieces with letters after the stock number are the exact specimen you will receive.

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10a DRAWN WIRE BRACELET Copper ingots heated, hammered, and drawn through successively smaller drawplate holes were themselves currency (Calabar rods, etc.) then cut and bent to crescent form (though. hard to tell from a mould-cast bracelet on patinated specimens) This is a catch-all type and includes rounded wire, wire squared on the insides for easier wearing, or on the sides for stacking, ridged on the outside, etc. Scan shows typical end/body shapes. Mostly 100-200gm, 65-97m diameter, 12m gauge (thickness) wire, nicely patinated.   ($19 each per 3+, mixed sizes, shapes, etc.)    (41)25.00
10dDrawn Wire, Smaller 30-70gm, 68-80m, 5-6m gauge   (18)16.50
14 CAST BRACELET Similar to drawn wire braclets, though without a cut or gap between ends, thus cast rather than wire-origin 45-115gm, 75-79m, 6-11m     (7)25.00
17 UNIQUE BRACELETS Closed cast bronze bracelets similar to other types offered here, but each with a unique design. SPECIMENS: 17c) $25.00     17d) $45.00     17f) $28.50     17g) $28.50     25.00 - 50.00
20 NODE-&-GROOVE BRACELET Closed circular bracelet with repeating pattern of nodes and grooves, usually 3-4 series, but 2, 6, and 8 exist. There are a few specimens at either end of the weight/size ranges, but most are remarkably uniform. Commonest type of this hoard. Glar (4/38) shows more modern elaborations of this theme from the FraFra in the Gurunsi cultural region. Sample shown. 54-100gm, 72-81m, 8m thick    (55)28.50
21 NODE-&-GROOVE: OPEN Open ended version of above. 28.50
23d TWISTED PATTERN BRACELET Cast, closed type with deep-grooved twist pattern, imitating actual twisted wire. 65-110gm, 4 are 70gm; 82m diameter, 7-8m thick     (7)37.50
23b TWISTED PATTERN BRACELET Larger, more variable specimens 170-210gm, 84-86m, 11-13m thick, one with 40m ridged section, one flat side, etc.Sample shown, yours will be different.    (3)47.50
26 ROLLED END BRACELET Plain circular body with two ajacent thinner rods set in crosswise, possibly to resemble a gapped opening, or perhaps symbolic?.     SPECIMENS: a & b) 26a) 64mmØ, 8.5mm thick, 86gm $35; 26b) 82mmØ, 10mm thick, 159gm $50   26p) One side in twist pattern 90mmØ, 252gm chunk missing at top of plain side (casting flaw or old damage) $45   (6)35.00 - 50.00
27 ROLLED END BRACELET: GAP Open bracelet with tubes at gap.     SPECIMENS: 27a) Body half plain, half twist. 87mmØ, 183gm Heavily encrusted. $50;    27b) Twist body, closed tubes 100mmØ, 183gm, same as 27a. Is this a coincidence or is there a weight standard here?? $85SOLD      (3)50.00 - 125.00
32 WIDE BRACELETS Thin-gauge copper or bronze with some etching, some open and some closed. Samples shown. Large (38-40mm wide) $45; Medium (20-23mm wide) $30; Small (17-18mm wide) $25   (5)45.00
29s WIDE BRACELET SET What almost looks like a denomination set of bronze (not copper) of about the same size, but different thicknesses. Open-end with a few lines engraved, as a set of 3: Heavy gauge189,194gm, 76-77m, 21m wide; Medium gauge 88,90gm, 77m, 22m wide; Light gauge 47,52gm, 67,69m, 16-17m wide SET OF 3    (6)65.00
30s WIDE BRACELET SET similar, but well-patinated copper with more complex engraved designs covering the entire surface. Set of 3: 186,113,50gm, 77,72,70m diameter, 23,23,15m wide SET OF 3    (3)110.00
35 HINGED BRACELET: SOLID Two tongue-and-groove segments lock together with pins or wire. Round body, little or no design. Could these be based on nose rings used to control bulls?   SPECIMENS: 35a) 102mmØ, 13-16m thick, 478gm Rough surface; frozen solid with old corrosion. $100;    35b) 100mmØ, 24mm thick, 1020gm Etched design at opening. Rough surface; frozen solid with old corrosion. $175   35c 104mmØ, 23m thick, 740gm Rough surface; fozen solid with old corrosion. $145   (3)100.00 - 75.00
37 HINGED BRACELET: HOLLOW Hollow segments made by lost-wax casting. Originaly wire may have been used to hold the halves together, as I have never found a specimen with any kind of pin attached. Could these be based on nose rings used to control bulls?    SPECIMENS: 37a) 37b) 3737c) 37d) 37e) 100-109m x 20-29m thick 270-339gm. All fit together well; two are shown apart to demonstrate hinges Each: $75   37p) Heavily corroded, broken with a chunk missing $15    (7)75.00
CLICK!38 UMATCHED SEGMENTS Hollow segments made by lost-wax casting. Half bracelets.    (3)15.00
42 RINGS A distinctive group, 20-40m diameter with large center holes for finger wearing, though some may have other purposes. Weights run 3-90gm with no real clustering. Generally flat interiors, rounded exteriors with no design; 8 pcs. have breaks. No doubt functioned as "small change" as well as adornment.     (3 or more diff $9 ea.)     (29)12.50
45 BICONE ANKLET Large, broad-face open-end piece with outer surface rising from raised, decorated edges to a central ridge. This is one of the few types in the hoard that has counterparts among later bracelets (See #170, 174 below). Much as Gibbs sale V 3/71 Lot 602, attributed as Benin 1100-1200 AD. These hve green and corroded surfaces, but I have darkened and sealed.   SPECIMENS: 45d) Ornate rope & knot rims with plain body. 450gm, 105mmØ, 63mm tall. $200;   45e) Ornate rope rims with etched concentric diamond design on body. 380gm, 97mmØ, 72mm tall. One tiny casting hole. $185 185.00 - 200.00
48 BOAT ANKLET Large anklet in shape of a boat, oval with one pointed end, etched lines design. More modern pieces of similar shape are attributed to the Senufo of Burkina Faso. Two different available, 140-145mm (5.5") long, 17, 21 oz. EACH:95.00
50 TOGO BRACELETS Excavated copper brcelets of unknown age, from Togo rather than Jenne-Jeno. Bands 13-17mm wide, with narrow gaps, 70-75mm across, with extenive design: raised bumps, half-Cosmos symbols, etc. Samples shown: I've left these dirty and crusty as found, but a wire brushing and oiling would make them look like museum pieces. Pair of matched bracelets $85, or single:47.50


MODERN SAHEL TYPES

     The Islamic peoples of the semi-desert regions of the southern Sahara: lower Mali, Niger, and northern Nigeria, are the source of a unique style of bracelet, descended from or related to the Djerma/Mondua"manilla" of Niger (Opitz 1991 p.91, D8#17-23, Johansson Fig.4). They are characterized by enlarged, faceted ends, and "white brass," which appears to be nickel-brass or cu-ni. To the Africans, metals have spiritual powers related to color; these types combine the monetary properties of coastal African bracelets with the purely ornamental silver jewelry of the Saharan peoples The enlarged ends on most types have 13 facets, though abbreviated as a rectangle or cube on small specimens. They are often carried into Ethiopia in trade, and the designs may be copied there in silver (Fisher p.278-9). See Blandin Bronzes p.9-14, also Fisher p.166, D23#18, Eyo p.63 for attribution of some types to northern Nigeria.

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235NUPE BRACELET Heavy, white brass with 5-facet exterior, flattened interior, enlarged 13-facet ends. Brief etched & circle-punched design on & approaching ends. Attributed to Nupe Tribe, Bidda area, N. Nigeria (D24#ADN10, D21#65) See Opitz p.91, BA11/1   Scan shows typical examples of four sizes, plus late Birmingham manilla for size comparison.
235ANupe Bracelet Large: 87-89m x 20-24m broad 390-500gm 47.50
235BNupe Bracelet Medium: 69-73m x 11-12m 142-225 gm35.00
235CNupe Bracelet Medium: 65-69m x 7-8m broad 89,113gm 25.00
235DNupe Bracelet Small: 55-60m x 4-6m broad 46, 50gm 17.50
235FNUPE CHRISTIAN BRACELET? Large type as above with a crude fish etched and punched into one side at top. In this desert region, what would be the normal meaning of a fish? Typical example shown.47.50
237"ETHIOPIA PATTERN" BRACELET Similar to the Nupe bracelet, but rounded body with twist pattern, no etched designs. Very much like the (silver?) piece shown by Fisher (p.291) as coming from Jima in the southern highlands of Ethiopia. White brass, yellow brass. Some with flattened sides for stacking. 62-66m x 7-9m thick 73-112gm. Typical piece shown.22.50
255SPATULATE-END BRACELET Heavy, plain yellow-brass with oval body and enlarged, squared spadelike ends. Designs link this to #235, the Nupe type. (BA11/3)45.00
255BSpatulate-end bracelet. Some etched design. Avg. 82x30m, 350-536gm Typical example shown.35.00
255CSpatulate-end bracelet. More design, or other features. Typical example shown.42.50
255DSpatulate-end bracelet. Ribbed body & raised design on ends. Slightly lighter weight. Typical example shown.42.50
255D.1Spatulate-end bracelet. Ribbed body & raised design on ends. Nicest example in stock. Lots of design. Dark tone.42.50
256TWISTED SPATULATE-END BRACELET Ends somewhat thicker and soldered to a pair of intertwined 4-twist flattened rods of brass and copper. Rather crude. 75-83m, 340, 387,482gm55.00
248FACETED EARRING Circular with enlarged, decorated 13-facet end. White brass. 57-62m x 3-4m thick 34-54gm. Per piece:20.00
242TUAREG MANILLA Large, heavy brass piece with subtle 8-facet body in U-shape and hugely enlarged 13-facet ends, 10-11 with fine detailed simple designs, inner facet rough, feet flat (will stand up, clay helps). Blandin Bronzes . . . p. 14 #2 says it is a widespread type among the Tuareg, and tribes in Mali & Niger; Eyo, p.63 uncaptioned; Fisher Africa Adorned p.202 as Tuareg; Seattle Art Museum #1603 (aluminium!) as Mossi. Design clearly based on the Djerma/Mondua "manilla". It is, by size and intricacy of design, clearly the "king" of these later large-foot bracelets. I call it a manilla because it is an elegant exaggeration of the European product. In fact, the clustering of the weights makes me wonder whether these had some relationship to early, heavy-weight European manillas. Each specimen is graded for wear, and priced by grade and weight: Comparison of heaviest and lightest specimens.     242b)   723g, sword(??) in grid pattern VF $175;      242c)   828g, VF+ $165;      242d)   858g VF $165;      242e)   842g F, patchy color $150;      242f)   710g VF+ $145;      242g)   625g EF, dark tone $135;      242h)   600g EF, dark tone $135;      242j)   659g Vg-F $120;      242k)   439g Vg-F $100 100.00+
250KANO BRACELET (northern Nigeria) Plain round body with slightly flared, etched ends. White brass. Crude, not pretty. D8#20. See article in Der Primitivgeldsammler 1987#2 50-69m x 7-8m thick 43, 47, 61, 74.5g20.00



COASTAL WEST AFRICA

     Bracelet monies of the forested coastal states from Guinea to Cameroun are generally cast rather than drawn & hammered, decorated rather than plain, and brass rather than copper - with numerous exceptions!. Their designs and casting descend from the master works of Benin, Ife, and earlier centers. There seems to be little written about the cosmological significance of these designs, but Blandin speculates that the spiral is a water-lily, the half spiral & grains patterns are associated with royalty. Some recurring designs are shown below.





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160a HINGED BRACELET Two faceted segments, one end with pointed tang, other end hollow; pin holes to complete the hinge with wire. Brass piece descended from earlier Sahel ancestors (#35 above). Could these be based on nose rings used to control bulls? This is actually two halves from different bracelets which nearly fit together, though design and coloration are different. 117mmØ, 1390gm75.00
174 KASENA / FRAFRA BRACELET Bicone shape with opening, raised ornamental rims. See Glar-4/138-140    SPECIMENS: 174a) Hand-chased leaf designs on body. 345gm, 85mmØ, 65mm tall. $75   174b) Anklet or Armband, tall piece with a bit of etching around opening. 400gm, 125mmØ x 102mm tall. Serious crack & missing chunk, soil encrustation. An old piece. $ 4040.00 - 75.00
176 BAOULE ANKLET (Ivory Coast) Very large, thick, hollow piece with flattened interior, rounded exterior with intricate design, slit for insertion of stones to create rattle. Dark brass, lost-wax cast. F89#8, OP91, D23#71, BA260#1,2.   176f) Large piece, 130mmØ x 55mm tall, 555gm. Cracks on one side & interior. $55;   176g) Medium piece, 120mmØ x 30mm tall, 504gm, rattle stone inside. 2 casting hole & moderate crack but generally nice. $8555.00
177 BAOULE HINGED BRACELET Heavy, intricately decorated cast piece in two separate halves joined by hinges. Could these be based on nose rings used to control bulls? D10WAC4    .SPECIMENS: 177ab) 96-100 x 27m 430, 450gm Two identical specimens, each with minor damage to the hinges: a) One tang of paired hinge missing, so bracelet DOES fasten closed. $225; b) Solo tang missing, so bracelet DOES NOT fasten closed. $175. Closing pins in both specimens appear not to be originals.   177c) Heavy, intact specimen, 836gm, 115mmØ x 45mm $300175.00
178 HINGED BRACELET SEGMENTS Unmatched bracelet segments:: a) 220gm, 105mm One endcap & all hinges missing $20; b) 323gm, 115mm One endcap & all hinges missing $30; c) 409gm, 120mm Intact, attractive $5020.00 - 50.00
180 MOCK STACK BRACELET Broad-faced, thin-gauge cast brass, almost certainly designed to imitate a stack of plain, drawn-wire bracelets. . Larger pieces may have been worn as armbands or legbands. Glar (G4/47) concludes that they were made by the Kasena but used widely by the Akan, Baule and Grunshi. Dillingham (D23#20,75 $45) "Hausa of Nigeria." Most are slightly asymmetrical due to having been worn and removed. Many are dirty and could be made prettier with a wire brush.    SPECIMENS: 180b,d) b) 3-stack with ridges 90mmØ $20.00; 180d) with hatching 105mmØ $35.00;     180h,j,k,m) h) 4-stack with hatching, paired Kola nuts at gaps and back: 60mmØ 30.00; j) 85mmØ $35.00; k) Border of half circles $45.00; m) Border of half circles. Damage. $20.00;     180r,s,t) r) 4-stack with hatching, concentric half-circles design at gaps and back: 75mmØ 35.00; s) 72mmØ $40.00; t) Border of half circles. Small cut at gap. $40.00;     180u,v,w) u) 4-stack with hatching, concentric half-circles design at gaps and back: 82mmØ 45.00; v) 90x77mmØ Border of half circles. $45.00; w) Two chunks missing $15.00 15.00 - 45.00
181 MOCK ROD BRACELET Imitating ridged-exterior rather than rounded bracelets, with three segments. Closed (full circle) rather than open end. A bit of etched rather than cast-in design. They appear to be cruder and older than #180, but not as attractive. Typically 90mmØ x 35mm tall. Sample pieces shown: A) Interior ridges hollow, hence light, about 120-150gm $35.00;   M) Interior ridges solid with incised hatch design on top and bottom. 220-260gm $45.0035.00 - 45.00
187 QUIGGIN FIG. 34 BRACELET Partly hollow unbroken circle with plain, steeply bevelled sides falling to bordered snake pattern; wide casting seam interior. Closest item I've found published is Q p.98 "Uganda" though this may not be the same thing. D24 #ADN8    A) Without inner snake patterning & larger. Two examples shown. 95-100m, 140-225gm, interiors 2.5 - 2.75" so wearable by some 40.00   ;B) Without inner snake patterning & larger 105m, 300-425gm $50.0040.00 - 50.00
206A BIU DIVISION BRACELET Bidda Tribe, Nigeria. Well-cast, consistent fancy manilla-like brass bracelet. Wide crescent, flared ends with distinctive ornamented cuffs. Johansson p.44a, Opitz p.91, D24#45. One of the most attractive of cast bracelet types, and well attributed. 63 - 105m (2.5 - 4") Typical specimen shown. Selected larger example: 27.50
225 BELL CUFF-BRACELET Nigeria, Fulani? Broad, gapped cast cuff with "corn-row" and circles/cosmos designs, and "Fulani bells" attached by loops. Can be bent and reclosed to fit on small to average wrists. Typically 40-60mm high x 50-60mm across. Sample pieces shown. Four bells on front, plus: 224a) Two more on back $23.50;   224b) 3 x Cosmos design on back $18.5018.50 - 23.50
225 DOROME BRACELET Nigeria. Circular yellow-brass cast bracelet with crosshatch design and sometimes a small blank patch. Gapless bracelets are uncommon. 73-81m x 6-9m thick 63-134gm18.50
226 DOROME TOKEN Cast brass ring used as fare tokens for donkey carts, Dorome Tribe. According to Dillingham (D26#28) the drivers turned them in to the chiefs, who held the concession, and were paid in bracelets. Thus an ethnographic token rather than an ethnographic money, and possibly unique as such? Rings joined together by a leather strip with cloth running through the interior, forming a belt served as a badge of office for the cart drivers. From a large purchase I sorted out varieties. Available:
226a)   Stippled Cross-hatching produces tiny raised diamonds on top surface. Largest, heaviest, best made variety, usually unworn, so perhaps most modern. Avg. 16.5gm, most 28-31mm $5.50
226c)   Patterned Mixed stipples and oblique cuts, a pattern seen on some bracelets. Some casting roughness & wear. Avg. 12.75gm, most 25.5-30mm $5.00
226e)   Hatched Simple oblique cuts. Thinner, lighter & often well-worn, possibly oldest variety. Avg. 9.25gm, most 27-31mm $5.00
226ce)   Worn Well-worn examples of Patterned and Hatched varieties, y;our choice. $4.00
226h)   Plain Generally smaller than the patterned types & usually worn-looking. Some showing casting roughness. Possibly the oldest? $4.00
226n)   Ridged Undecorated with pointed top & wide sides. Never found on the belts, so possibly not Dorome, but similar casting technique. Avg. 13gm, most 29-33mm $ 6.50
226r)   Tiny Donuts Plain, thick ringlets, look well-worn. Possibly unrelated to Dorome. Avg. 4gm, most 13-16mm $2.50
226s)   Mini-collection One each of a, c, e, ce, n & r, and 2 different of h (8 pcs.) $34.50
Quantity:Types c, ce & h $3.00 ea./10, $2.50 ea./25+, others a bit more.
3.50+
230 COWRIE BRACELET Round or flattened dark brass with crosshatch pattern (as Dorome), with various patterns of cowries on top. The cowrie was an even more universal African money than the bracelet, and were thought to promote fertility. Probably Nigeria or Mali. 67-69m x 6-8m thick 60-99gm   Can supply several different @ $20 each.22.50
232A WAVE MANILLA Cast brass with thick body in wave pattern Dillingham (D19,AP19) calls it Wave Manilla, Nigeria. 5-sided etched ends 75-100m, 300-450gm. Attractive.. Typical specimen shown.42.50
232CWave manilla, small, 70m, 170gm Unusual. "Fine" for wear.22.50
CLICK!232E Wave Manilla. Squared, collared ends with cast design 72-80m, 250-480gm. Typical specimen shown.42.50
CLICK!232D Wave Manilla. Squared, Large specimen 95m, 765gm. Scan shows casting flaw one end. 45.00
CLICK!232H Wave Manilla: Hollow. Squared ends just as 232E. A unique feature for African money bracelets. 170-230 gm SPECIAL:19.50
CLICK!232S Wave Manilla: Hollow. Set of 3 sizes, regular "H" and two smaller ones. The solid bracelets of this type do not come in smaller sizes.49.50


MAGICAL BRACELETS

     Bracelets with animal motifs are worn for spiritual reasons. Fisher shows a number of bracelets and rings with these and a few other animal figures being used by Senufo, Lobi, Bobo, Kasena, and Bulsa peoples in the Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, and Ghana. "Animals as well as humans are portrayed on jewellery; for the Senufo these are usually the chameleon, snake, turtle, crocodile and ground hornbill - according to Senufo mythology, the first five beings created. In this part of Africa, the chameleon is second only to the python as the most common motif in personal jewellery " (p.128) These pieces stand in relation to money bracelets as charms and amulets do to coins in Eastern cultures or religious medalets in Western.





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230 COWRIE BRACELET Round or flattened dark brass with crosshatch pattern (as Dorome), with various patterns of cowries on top. The cowrie was an even more universal African money than the bracelet, and were thought to promote fertility. Probably Nigeria or Mali. 67-69m x 6-8m thick 60-99gm   Can supply several different @ $20 each.22.50
285 CIRCULAR BRACELETS Medium-size cast brass, round body & round shape with no gap. Most pieces show a raised "buckle" element or raised spine characteristic of python and similar magical types, but they are too worn to identify the design elements. Relatively scarce, I have never seen this basic unbroken circle type offered or illustrated.Scan shows SAMPLES (mixed sizes).
275LIZARD BRACELET Small (child's?) bracelet, open with cuff ends, pair of kola nuts behind each cuff, top with snake pattern surmounted by lizard, probably a chamelion. 53.4mm wide (external), brass.35.00
285aCircular bracelets: Heavy, plain: 76-86m x 9-12m thick 116-194gm19.50
285bCircular Bracelets: Medium, usually with flattened interior and a fair amount of cast and/or etched design, but worn.    72-83m x 2 - 5m thick 85-134gm13.50


CENTRAL AFRICAN TYPES

     I have grouped here pieces that do not have raised design elements. Most are forged from metal of standard shapes (wire, rods, cast bars) and have few etched designs, if any. They are difficult to attribute because both collectors and authors tend to focus on the fancier West African bracelets. These types are missing from Opitz, Blandin (Fr. W. Africa) & the Seattle Art Museum collection. However, of the ten published "plain" types I have found, eight were attributed to central Africa: Namibia, Angola, Congo, or Mozambique. Many are brass, but a higher proportion than among the raised design types are copper, which also fits with a central African location.
     In the absence of distinctive shapes and designs, a useful way to classify this group is by the body and end shapes. While there are varieties and pieces that do not fit neatly into one classification, most are either a) Round or oval, b) "Hump & groove" end, c) Flat interior, d) Flat interior with tapered ends, e) One side flattened, f) Two sides flattened, g) Faceted, h) Ridged, i) Broad-face, square end, or j) Circular (round or oval, no ends).



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300a DRAWN WIRE BRACELETS Brass wire created by pulling metal through the round hole of a draw-plate, then bent to crescent shape. Wire gauge runs 4-6m. With //////// or <<<<< design toward ends, often faint. 60-100m Most 30-60gm Scan shows mixed sizes. 11.00
300bDrawn Wire Bracelets: Plain (no design)8.00
302 BENT ROD BRACELETS The next step up from drawn wire are these 8.5-10m gauge bracelets made of Calabar-sized rods bent to crescent or circular shape. They're nothing glamorous, but probably as a type, among the oldest African bracelet money. Scan shows mixed sizes.
302aBent Rod Bracelets: 7m gauge, copper, bent to full circle 77,80m 71,83g.11.00
302bBent Rod Bracelets: 8.5-10m gauge, brass 93-109m 110-160gm16.50
302cBent Rod Bracelets: 1-12+m gauge & generally larger or heavier18.50
302dBent Rod Bracelets: 13-15m gauge but generally shorter18.50
305 HAMMERED BAR BRACELETS Medium to large-sized brass bracelets, traditionally made by annealing to crescent form, but possibly cast this way. Round or oval body, rounded or flat interiors, round to oval ends. Some have bits of etched designs; most are plain. Pieces of this appearance and generally larger size have been attributed to the Ovambo of Namibia & Angola (PS 1987/1, 1988/2), "Angola," (D21#61), Nkutshu of Congo (PS1992 /2), Luluberg, Congo (D19#62), Thonga & LaVenge of Mozambique (PS1992/3), and "Mozambique" (Sotheby Gibbs Lot 35). Scan shows mixed sizes.
CLICK!305AHammered Bar Bracelets: Massive size. Design: Clusters of punched-circles at four points on body. Three very similar pieces in stock, suggesting it was a standard form for some tribal group. 5.5 - 5.75", (142-146m), 57, 60, 64 oz. (1.6 - 1.8 kg)125.00
305CHammered Bar Bracelets: Large: 85-96m 593-717gm55.00
305CHammered Bar Bracelets: Medium: 83-101m 391-448gm45.00
305EHammered Bar Bracelets: Medium: 76-92m 221-313gm33.50
306a HAMMERED BAR COIL Cast brass bar with tapering ends formed into coil shape. Rounded exterior, flattened interior. Crude designs etched at ends and center coil. 52 oz, 92mm across x 65mm high. Darkly toned brass.SOLD
CLICK!306bHammered bar coil: Rounded bar formed into 3 coils. 47 oz, 93mm x 57mm high. Darkly toned brass.75.00
315 CAST HASHMARK BRACELETS Elongated brass crescent, squarish body, casting seam & cracks on interior, very fine etched hash-marks cover dark-toned exterior. A distinctive group of 23 pcs. with two clear denominations which came with other Zaire items.. Scan shows mixed sizes.
315aCast Hashmark Bracelets: Unit: 10-14m gauge, 95m, 170-280gm, all visually very similar30.00
315bCast Hashmark Bracelets: 2 Unit: 18-21m gauge, 105-115m, 425-670gm. Often with a casting flaw at middle interior.45.00
315cCast Hashmark Bracelets: No hashmarks 20-22m gauge, 609, 670,750,750gms50.00
315j Cast Bar Bracelet Very much like the larger cast brass pieces which often show hashmarking, but red copper. Thus possibly an older piece. 650g, 120m60.00
308 "HUMP & GROOVES" BRACELETS Medium to large, round or oval body brass bracelet with distinctive ends as shown. Generally some etched designs or enhancement around the >-shaped groove. Some of the round-end Hammered Bar bracelets (above) have an etched >> at ends echoing this design. Though not scarce, I have not found an attribution for this distinctive bracelet. Many specimens have later had one or both sides flattened somewhat, probably to facilitate stacking (see #310 below). Scan shows mixed sizes.
308aHump & Groove: Large: 86-94m 423-630gm90.00
308bHump & Groove: Medium: 82m 258, 298gm65.00
308fHump & Groove: Sides flattened, smaller: 78-90m 221-305gm55.00
310 STACKING BRACELETS A common class, consisting of both drawn-rod and hammered-bar bracelets, brass or copper. They are generally plain, sometimes with etched designs toward the ends, but flattened one one or both sides. At least some were hammered after use, some possibly cast this way. No doubt this reflects a local preference for easily stackable pieces. The brass Lobolo bracelet (Quiggin p.105, fig.30) of Mozambique is probably an example. Scan shows mixed sizes.
310aStacking Bracelets: Heaviest (Cast bars pounded to shape): 76-91m 202-256, 339gm35.00
310bStacking Bracelets: Medium-heavy (Rods bent to shape): 73-101m 112-176gm20.00
310cStacking Bracelets: Medium-light (Rods bent to shape): 62-77m 70-115gm16.50
310dStacking Bracelets: Light (Drawn wire bent to shape): 60-83m 30-49gm11.00
310dSmall examples with engraving: .1 66gm, 82m, also showing segment of top design $15, and .2 35g, 53m, unusually small piece $10
310fStacking Bracelets: Armband size (Drawn wire): 82-99m 40-70gm17.50
310jStacking Bracelets: West African-style pieces with close hatching (similar to #225, Dogon), slight flattening. Hardly attractive, but may be important as showing characteristics of both West and Central African types. 68-72m 53-101gm20.00


ZAIRE: HEAVY PIECES

     Here I have grouped a number of heavy bullion items which are clearly too large to be called bracelets, and may have been worn as collars or legbands, if worn at all. They are all cast-bar money forms of brass or copper which have been bent to circular or crescent form and sometimes hammered to distinctive shapes, though the evident intent is to create a convenient shape for carrying metal. These ugly, utilitarian objects have been largely ignored by scholars and collectors alike, resulting in few published attributions. The Ovambo and VaLenge types published in EUCOPRIMO's Der Primitivgeldsammler are welcome exceptions.

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REF#DESCRIPTIONPRICE
319aOVAMBO COLLAR Massive plain round brass bar in crescent shape. Appears to be same type as Der Primitivgeldsammler 1988 V 2 Ovambo, a tribe in Namibia and Angola. Probably a bullion, not ceremonial piece. 84, 95 ozs, 27-32m gauge, 185-205m across dark-toned90.00
319tOvambo Collar section 48 oz, 6.25" segment, one end rough, other smooth. Well patinated.28.50
322aVaLENGE COLLAR Large, heavy, plain round brass bar in crescent shape. Appears to be same type as Der Primitivgeldsammler 1992 V 3 Thonga & VaLenge, tribes in Mozambique. Probably a bullion, not ceremonial piece. 47,49,51,54.5 ozs, 20-22m gauge, 185-245m across Two specimens shown.75.00
322bVaLENGE COLLAR Fractional units? 31,35oz, 17-18m gauge, 150-155m Two specimens shown.40.00
330NKUTSHU(?) BULLION BRACELET Heavy cast copper bars bent to ring shape with numerous hammer marks on surface, similar to pieces in Der Primitivgeldsammler 1992 vol.2 as Nkutshu (Tetela, Hamba, Onga) or North Kasai, Zaire. Gauge: 35-40m. Weights ranging from 37 to 107 oz. with no pattern indicate they traded by weight rather than unit.   Specimens available: 330d $55;    330f $55;    330h $60;    330k $145 55.00+
330cNkutshu(?) Bullion Bracelet: Unusually small for type, 45 oz., still thick gauge: 29m75.00
333NKUTSHU(?) BULLION BRACELET Smaller pieces in both size and gauge, some with flat sides for stacking, or slightly flared ends, there appears to be no regularity in the weights, but they fall into categories by thickness (gauge). Scan shows mixed sizes.85.00
333nNkutshu(?) Bullion Bracelet: 24m gauge, 39 oz. (1.1K), 5+" (135m) Ends irregularly cut, as shown.75.00
333aNkutshu(?) Bullion Bracelet: Thick-gauge 16-23 Oz (some variety of shapes)55.00
333bNkutshu(?) Bullion Bracelet: Medium gauge: 9-12 oz35.00
333cNkutshu(?) Bullion Bracelet: Thinner gauge: 5-6.5 oz25.00
333jNKUTSHU(?) BULLION BRACELET Smoothly-finished, squared piece with ends that meet. 42 Oz; 120m across. A geographical or tribal variation of the rougher bullion bracelets?75.00
335aSQUARED LEGBANDMasssive, squared copper bar with four outer ridges and simple punched circle designs. Does not show interior wear indicating that it was worn, so probably strictly a bullion piece. 145 x 120 x 60m; 125 oz.   200.00
335bSquared Legband: Specimen with crack completely through. Though not separated, should be handled carefully. 112 oz.95.00
325dUNATRIBUTED ZAIRE COLLAR #1 Brass collar of relatively thin gauge with one end tapered. Chevron (<<<<<) etching at ends. Purchased in a lot with other types of Zaire necklaces & bracelets. 185m across, 13m gauge, 19 0zs (.54 Kilo)50.00
325EUNATRIBUTED ZAIRE COLLAR #2 Brass. Circular ring with narrow gap. Deeply etched design at ends. 15 oz. (.425K), 5.75" (146m). Darkly toned, some stable green, orange-brown soil adhesions. 50.00


LARGE MANILLAS

     The terms "King" and "Queen" are used arbitrarily for various types of large collars with splayed ends, apparently African-made. These pieces have a monetary use as wealth display, but their primary purpose is probably ceremonial. I have defined as King the forged & etched Copper crescents with flared, rounded feet. Probably more associated with Zaire than Nigeria, accounts associate them with bride-price and the royal "dying ceremony". Weights vary, but avg. 80 oz. (2.5kg), typically 11x5" (275x125m) for 8 specimens surveyed. I have used the term Queen to refer to cast (vs forged) pieces with visible seams, brass (vs copper) elongated-C shapes with slightly (vs markedly) splayed feet . They are generally lighter and more ornamented than Kings. Probably more associated with Nigeria than Zaire. Johanssen, 1967, cover (both), Eyo p.61 (both?)
     Also included here are other large collars with splayed ends, some called Prince Manillas.

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REF#DESCRIPTIONPRICE
340MKING MANILLA Copper. Broad crescent with slightly splayed ends. Etched pattern at ends and across top but mostly hidden by rough surface. 24 oz. (.68K), 8.5" (210m). Darkly toned, some stable green. Additional King manillas offered HERE90.00
346EPRINCE MANILLA Copper. Squared U-shape with slightly splayed ends. Simple etched design of hatched lines on outer surfaces. 6 oz. (.17K), 5" (122m). Darkly toned, some stable green.50.00
351B"PRINCESS" MANILLA? Copper. More crescent shaped and ends less splayed than typical King manilla, but the etching over most of the outer surface suggests it is a ceremonial rather than bullion piece. 56 oz. (1.59K), 8" (203m). Apparently acid cleaned to remove green, I have stabilized and coated with Ren wax to seal surface. Designs still fairly clear, but very rough.85.00
353CONGANDA MANILLA Jonga & Mongo Tribes, Zaire. Ballarini (#72) mentions named denominations, but specimens vary considerably in weight with no pattern, so I believe traded as a bullion item. A small (150m) piece was worth 10 Belgian Francs in 1950. Darkly toned brass with four flat facets and slightly bluging square ends, hatching design along ridges. I have broken into arbitrary categories. Definitely your best buy in a large Manilla! 89-92 oz. 11-12.5 inches165.00
353DOnganda Manilla: Lighter, not necessarily smaller: 70-83 oz. 11.5 inches135.00
353EOnganda Manilla: Lighter: 56-69 oz., 10.5 - 11.5 inches 110.00
353GOnganda Manilla: 44-55oz., 10-5 - 11 inches 75.00
355"WORKING QUEEN" MANILLA Copper, crimped crescent shape with flared, bulbous ends, eight facets. No etching. Probably the commonest large manilla type. Opitz p.214.calls it a Prince, worth 50 ordinary manillas, and it appears to be a working bullion piece rather than a ceremonial item. The weight range is just about the average for the Handa ("Katanga") Cross, and I suspect there is some relationship between these two forms. Could these be recast crosses?? Ballarini (1998 p.5) attributes it to the Jonga, Nkutshu & Mongo peoples of the Congo Dem. Rep.   31-35 oz (8.8-9.9k), 8" across. Usually squared profile, as shown.100.00
355s"WORKING QUEEN" small Short, thick examples. Specimens shown are (left to right) 28, 28, and 34.5 oz.100.00


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