Akan Brass Casting

by Raymond Silverman
University of Michigan

Cire perdue (lost-wax) brass casting, Buoyem, Brong Ahafo, Ghana, April 1980. Photo by Raymond Silverman.

In 1980, Osei Kojo, at the age of 80, was the last metalworking specialists in the Techiman region to use the cire perdue or lost wax casting technique to fabricate a range of modest objects in brass; primarily a variety of bells (crotals), rings, and beads. This same technique has been used to make geometric and figurative brass goldweights, containers known as kuduo, and a variety of gold jewelry and regalia that are used as symbols of social and political status in the Akan region. Other metal specialists, working in and around the city of Kumasi, use the same basic process to make a range of objects for local use as well as for export.