Torque Currency (Yoruba People, Nigeria)

Torque Currency (Yoruba People, Nigeria)

15 inches outer diameter with 3 inches thicknessHand cast of copper alloy, utilizing the old wax method.This torque currency was designed and crafted by the Yoruba People of present day, Federal Republic of Nigeria. Copper ore is a highly prized commodity in West Africa, and was acquired through trade from Europeans, who arrived on the continent beginning in the 16th century. The Portuguese colonizers forged bracelet-shaped weights called “manillas” from copper, which served as a main form of currency to trade with the indigenous Yoruba. Eventually, Yoruba People began to re-melt these manillas down and recast them into larger currencies, sometimes worn as a body ornament.


Additional information


20th Century


Hand cast of copper alloy, utilizing the old wax method.


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