The Akan & Gold

The Akan & Gold

I am Kouali, the Chief Visionary Officer of Liko Bijoux - Fine Jewellery.

Embracing the multi-faceted nature of individual identity, Liko Bijoux’s fine pieces
balance Akan inspiration with a distinctly Parisian influence.

Please find my introductory blog post here: A Parisian Fine Jewellery Maison rooted in an Afro culture: The Akan and let's get to know each other! 

Who are the Akan ? 

Akan Chieftancy with gold jewellery

Akan King and Queen at a celebration with chiefs.
 Ethnic Jewels online magazine 

According to renowned author Timothy F. Garrard, who was a West African historian and archeologist attached to the Department of Archeology at the University of Ghana, the Akan are a large group of related people who live across Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana and Togo, countries in West Africa.

Most of their region being auriferous, it is said that at some places, it was possible to find gold dust in the sands of the seashore, as cited in Akan Weights and Gold Trade, by Timothy F Garrard, Legon History Series, 1980, Ed. Longman Group Limited.

"The Akan (...) developed for more than 600 years a brilliant civilization in which gold played a central role as a symbol of beauty, wealth and power. Using gold powder as everyday money, they invented, for their exchanges, a sophisticated weighing system going, by its symbolic value, far beyond simple means of weighing and of payment." From Crappier J.-J., Farinetto C., Gascou P., Maunoury C., Maunoury F. & Mateusen G., 2019. The Akan Weighing System restored after 120 years of oblivion. A metrological study of 9301 geometric gold-weights. Colligo, 2(2) : 9-22.

Sankofa goldweight

Sankofa Bird Gold Weight

18th-19th century

The Michael C. Rockefeller Wing, Metropolitan Museum of Art*

*Public Domain

The gold weights like this bird are among the most fascinating of West Africa's art and African art in general.

Yes, I am being biased but this amazing object is handmade and metal cast. The casting method is even referred as Akan metal-casting technology.

I couldn't agree more with Timothy F. Garrard, when he says, "The proverbs and folklore associated with gold weights take us to the heart of the Akan character". 

The Sankofa image shown, is derived from the Akan proverb that states, "There is nothing wrong with learning from hindsight." The motif is based on a mythical bird that flies forward with its head turned backwards, or it may be based on a bird that reaches behind it for food. 

The inspiration behind our Sankofa collection...let's talk about it more in our next blog post. 

Until the next jewellery week, be safe.



Please follow my journey as a jewellery entrepreneur here:

Liko's Website to check our new collection Sankofa:





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