While objects such as bracelets, armlets, collars, earrings and anklets crafted from copper, gold and silver were used as jewelry, in some cases they also served as currency. These pieces of jewelry were not widely circulated and were never used in connection with routine transactions. Instead, they served as repositories of wealth in a form that was easy to store and transport.
Coiled copper alloy armlet with ends terminating in faceted, bell-shaped finials wtih chiseled and punched designs. The prepared stock was forged into a hexagonal shape before coiling around a cylindrical form. The armlet has smoked patination.
Tom Joyce, Santa Fe, 1986 to 2002
Visionary: Viewpoints on Africa's Arts, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., November 4, 2017-ongoing