UVaM - University of Virginia Art Museum

Collection

Crossed Crocodiles Gold weight,
20th c.
Asante peoples, Ghana
Bronze,
2 x 2.5 inches
Anonymous Gift,
1982.17.22

Made of cast bronze, these small figures were used to weigh out gold dust on scales in colonial Ghana. The image of crossed crocodiles that share the same stomach refers to a number of proverbs that emphasize unity in diversity. One example is: a family may have many members but only one belly. The message is that a family should cooperate, rather than fight over something that will benefit all.