Pre-colonial Currency on the Continent
Acrylic on wood, 2021
In the interior of Southern Africa, discs cut from the Conus shells off the Mozambican coastline were highly prized for their rarity in the landlocked parts of the region. They were so valuable they were utilised as a currency known as Ndoro. This is similar to how the cowrie and other rare objects were used in a pre-colonial context.
Due to this financial association Ndoro came to be associated with the financially elite and were used to adorn the headdresses of chieftains. and as other forms of jewellery.
Ndoro chena (white, light) also describes the grey patch of hair some people have on their foreheads and is ascribed to wisdom and the regal.