Antique Copper Ngelo Bracelet in Spiral Form. Teke people, Congo. 19th century.

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  • $212

Antique Copper Bracelet in Spiral Form. 19th century. Congo.

A currency used by the Teke people of Congo. Referred to as mitako or ngelo. Small pieces were sometimes cut from a coil as it was passed from hand to hand, a process called "sweating'', which caused the coil to decrease in value. The longest mitakos were generally found at the coast where they were delivered by Europeans, with the length decreasing as coils moved inland. Sometimes, short segments were reconnected to create a longer, more valuable unit. Generally, the longer a coil, the greater its value.

Condition: Excellent, wear consistent with age.

4” x 3” x 2”
541 grams