X65.8524 Armlet

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Asante peoples
Kumase, Ghana
Before 1874
H: 5.2 cm, W: 6.0 cm, D: 5.2 cm (H: 2.0 in, W: 2.4 in, D: 2.0 in)
Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of the Wellcome Trust. X65.8524


Asante peoples have long used gold to create elaborate regalia and figurative objects that advance chiefly agendas of power and status. These ornaments once adorned a royal stool, a symbol of the Asante state. In 1874 the British attacked and destroyed Kumase, the Asante capital, confiscating its state treasuries. They then collected war reparations from the Asante of fifty thousand ounces of gold, included in which were these gold ornaments. These and other regalia were transported to Britain, where a special case was fabricated to display them as Western jewelry.

Gallery Text, Intersections: World Arts, Local Lives, 2006