Akan goldweights were used as a measuring system by the Akan people of West Africa, particularly for weighing gold dust which was currency until replaced by paper money and coins. They are referred to locally as mrammou and the weights are made of brass and not gold. Used to weigh gold and merchandise, at first glance the goldweights look like miniature models of everyday objects. Based on the Islamic ounce, each weight had a known measurement. This provided merchants with secure and fair-trade arrangements with one another. The status of a man increased significantly if he owned a complete set of weights. Complete small sets of weights were gifts to newly wedded men. This insured that he would be able to enter the merchant trade respectably and successfully. Beyond their practical application, the weights are miniature representations of West African culture items such as Adinkra symbols, plants, animals and people.
The items you can view on the following pages comprise my entire collection built over a period of 6 years in the late 60s – early 70s when I lived in Accra, Ghana.
I would appreciate to get comments to my collection, especially as regards its quality and the grouping of the nongeometrical weights. Would it be of advantage to add the actual weights of the pieces?