In Ekonda, Nkundo and related communities, jewelry served as both a stylish accessory and an indicator of status and wealth. Due to their weight, shape and material, these massive adornments verify their owner had the means to avoid physical labor. To create these hefty forms, the artist poured molten metal directly into a cast in the ground, called a puddle mold. As the metal cooled, it was formed into a circular shape and often fitted directly to the wearer's body. The outside surface was then burnished and polished.
Copper alloy anklet puddle cast in the form of a cylinder. A slight swell at the center of the cylinder is accentuated by three raised ridges. Openings are angled so that one surface of the cylinder is longer than the other. The edges of the openings are chiseled and engraved.
Arnold and Joanne Syrop, New York, ca. 1993 to 2002
African Mosaic: Selections from the Permanent Collection, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., November 19, 2013-ongoing
African Mosaic: Celebrating a Decade of Collecting, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., November 19, 2010-November 13, 2013