From Currency to Collector's Item - Mbole Anklets

From Currency to Collector's Item - Mbole Anklets

Mbole Anklets have become a staple of modern, minimal interior design, and its clear to see why. When fitted with an iron pedestal, they appear to float – outwards from walls, upwards from shelves or displays, or as a feature on a table setting. They add depth and an elegant, curved line to otherwise flat surfaces. They initiate light plays and intriguing shadows. In the essence of sculptors creating objects in near history that were both beautiful and functional, Mbole anklets have transcended their initial use and been elevated to a status near high art.

The Mbole ethnic group resides in the southeastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The hammered copper anklets were used for major transactions, even considered as a dowry and worn around the lower leg on both men and women. They could also be used to signify major events like the birth of a child, a marriage, or a death. The signature design became a cultural emblem over time – the larger the anklet, the more important the transaction.

Some sources lead us to believe that the origins of this type of currency date back as far as the Phoenicians, who traded along Africa’s west coast. Others attribute their inspiration to domestic copies of raffia cloth bracelets. Today, variances of this type of currency have been found in many parts of West Africa.

As part of our Sub-Saharan Collection, the selection of Mbole Anklets at Casa Berbere includes objects of singular beauty – the shapes more sophisticated, the craftsmanship more refined, the impact within a space tastefully understated – resulting in a beautiful object imbued with historical significance and an exquisite ignitor of intriguing conversation.

Shop the Mbole Anklet.