New Arrival

  |  November 21, 2014


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CUTTING EDGE CURRENCY!

   Oshele or knife currency
  Oshele or knife currency

Before paper money came to Africa, tribal currency took the form of hand-forged iron objects. They might appear to the casual observer like everyday items such as tools, weapons, or wearable adornment, but to the tribal people who used them they were carefully crafted items with prescribed values. Two of one form might buy a cow; two of another might buy a wife! Like modern money, value had more to do with perception than reality. Iron isn’t worth all that much; and neither is paper.

Although used as currency, Oshele appear as the sharp f-shaped throwing knives of the same name  
Although used as currency, Oshele appear as the sharp f-shaped throwing knives of the same name
 

This week’s New Arrival features a form of currency created by the Nkutshu people in the heart of Africa. Called an Oshele, it appears as a fearsome f-shaped throwing knife of the same name. Only people of the highest status and rank could carry this currency. It had the greatest value of any medium of exchange used by the Nkutshu; but that was before paper money arrived. Today, the Oshele is still considered a valuable object, except now it is coveted by collectors and only exchanged for paper. How ironic!  

Oshele or Knife Currency
Nkutshu People
Democratic Republic of Congo,
Central Africa
Late 19th / Early 20th C.
Iron, based
14.5" W x 3.5" D x 22.5 H"
$1,995

 

Part of a much larger collection of authentic African currencies available exclusively at PRIMITIVE. For more information or to purchase, please contact a Client Advisor at 312-575-9600 or email info@beprimitive.com.

 

Part of a much larger collection of authentic African currencies available at PRIMITIVE
This Oshele currency is part of a much larger collection of authentic African currencies available at PRIMITIVE
 
Please contact a Client Advisor for more details, or to make an appointment call 1-312-575-9600
To view similar items from our collection -- Follow links for Oshele Knife Currency and Currency
 

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