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Hoe Currency

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Semi finished hoe blades were recognized as currency in the agricultural-based economy of the Bamileke peoples in Cameroon. Hoe money varied in value, and was most often used for rare but major transactions, such as so-called bridewealth a groom gave to the parents of his bride upon marriage.


About 1998, sold by John Crawford to Alan Helms, Boston; 2009, gift of Alan Helms to the MFA. (Accession date: December 16, 2009)

Credit Line

Gift of Alan Helms

African, Bamileke peoples, Cameroon, 20th century


Overall: 28.6 x 27.3 cm (11 1/4 x 10 3/4 in.) Lender accessory (Mount): 33 x 10.2 cm (13 x 4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique



Africa and Oceania