Stirrup Iron From Mali

This stirrup iron is quite an unusual piece. It is over 200 years old. Only one was found.

It was made by people from the Bamana tribe. Their work is very distinctive.

The iron has been carefully worked with a detail on the side to show the level of workmanship. The stirrup iron is large and very heavy, weighing 3 lbs. This size and weight would have been a symbol of status.

Iron was a precious commodity in those days and so it would have been the equivalent of having stirrup irons made of gold in Europe. A man riding a horse was status enough, but to have irons made using so much iron would have impressed his peers.

Provenance purchased from Harvey Derrien 2nd Novemeber 2008 £30. For private collector.