This extract is from ‘Travel Tales from Exotic Places like Salford’
As impressive as the history of gold is, the exquisite artistry in the following rooms is even more stunning. The museum contains the world-famous collection of West African gold artefacts originally from the Barbier-Mueller Museum in Geneva. Most of these pieces come from Mali, Senegal, and the Akan kingdoms of Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire. Outstanding exhibits such as a human head of pure gold from Cote d’Ivoire and hammered crescent-shaped earrings – 8 inches across – made using 610 grams of gold are found in every case.
There are gold-decorated fly whisks, parasols, and sandals. There are gold sword 0rnaments, necklaces, rings, amulets, brooches, and pectoral disks, which were worn by males as badges of rank or to ward off evil spirits. The most striking exhibit for me is a royal crown based on a British imperial crown, but with the cross replaced by three okra pods and a pangolin.