Ivory trade token
This is possibly an ivory trade token, 133 mm in diameter, and inscribed 'John Pepper Brig Highfield, A Good Man'. The significance of trade tokens is yet to be established, but they were presumably used as pledges or receipts. This one, however, may be a bracelet identifying John Pepper, an enslaved member of the crew of the brig 'Highfield' as "a good man".
Until recently, many commentators on Africa claimed that African societies had no tradition of writing. Read more...