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Anklet "Konga"

Mongo, Ekonda and Kutu people, DRC


Copper alloy


The copper alloy anklet « Konga » was both a currency and a piece of adornment  worn (on occasion) as a sign of nobility among the Mongo, Ekonda and Kutu peoples of the Equator Province of DRC.


According to Ballarini ("The perfect form", 2009), The blacksmith made these objects by pouring melted copper and tin minerals into a horizontal wood mold. Then then bent it over a trunk to obtain the desired cylindrical shape. In order to support their weight, which could reach 10 kg, women protected their ankles with big bulges of fabric and leaves.

Originally the Konga constituted one of the traditional values that formed the dowry for rich women. With the introduction of other values for the payment of the dowry, as well as the introduction of an official money currency by Belgium colonial administration in the early 20th century, the use and traditional value of the Konga decreased.

They are now admired in museums and collections for their great form and as testimony of long gone tradition.

The piece has nice incised decorations, a beautiful pink copper polished surface and is in good condition for its age (one depression)

Provenance: Dutch private collection

Price: 700 Euros enquiry

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