Circa: 18 th Century AD
Dimensions: 4.33" (11.0cm) high
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.