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Lot 0016
CONGO. LUBA TRIBE.1850 AD ca.CROSS OF KATANGA USED LIKE CURRENCY BRONZE 1014 gr. (35,5 oz) - 24,5x16,5x1 cm. (9,5x6,4x0,4 inch). A Katanga cross, also called a handa, is a cast copper cross which was once used as a form of currency in parts of what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Katanga crosses were made in various sizes, typically about 20 cm (8 inches) across, and weighing about 1 kilogram (2 pounds). The name derives from Katanga, a rich copper mining region in the south-eastern portion of the DRC. These X-shaped ingots were cast by local coppersmiths by pouring molten copper into sand molds.During its period of currency, a Katanga cross would buy about 10 kilograms (22 pounds) of flour, five or six chickens or six axes, or five chickens and one ax. Two would buy a gun. The Luba people, or Baluba, are one of the Bantu peoples of Central Africa, and the largest ethnic group in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They are indigenous to the Katanga, Kasai, and Maniema regions which were historic provinces of present-day Democratic Republic of the Congo. They speak the Luba-Kasai, Luba-Katanga, and Swahili languages. The Kingdom of Luba was a pre-colonial Central African state, which arose in the marshy grasslands of the Upemba Depression in what is now southern Democratic Republic of Congo. The Luba had a wealth of natural resources such as gold, ivory, copper, frankincense and ebony but they also produced and traded a variety of goods such as pottery and masks.

Condition

VERY FINE

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CONGO CROSS OF KATANGA BALUBA TRIBE CURRENCY 1850 AD

Estimate €600 - €700Jan 22, 2017