Iron currency, 1900-1950



Gift of funds from Beverly Grossmanexpand_more  2019.44.7

This ritual staff, held aloft during preburial ceremonies, combines the curvature of a sickle with the blade of an ax. In their visual references to tools of labor, such staffs symbolize hard work, as well as the contributions of the deceased to community welfare. The curled spikes welded along the top give this staff the nickname “rooster iron.” Because these spikes resemble the shape of certain traditional local currencies, the implement itself is often wrongly identified as a means of payment.

Iron currency
Accession Number
Curator Approved

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