Forging tools for the miners

Blacksmiths are called numu in Malinké, and constitute a caste or hereditary profession in many Mande societies. Here, a local forge fabricating and repairing tools used by miners in their excavation work.

Tonso, Guinea Conakry, June 2014

Room 05: Gold Lifeways

Wall: West Africa


Gold has a life-line in which gold matter is extracted and then processed at the end of which it materializes as ‘pure’ gold. Along these steps, gold matter is transformed in the hands of many experts mastering specific technologies. This series follows first of all these Gold Lifeways. The line is not linear and finite; new technologies extend possibilities of extracting gold from ore and leftovers (tailings), and old sites can be revisited for new extraction. Gold Lifeways also refers to the lives and lifestyles of people involved in these mining activities. Lifeways that are expressed in work ethos, expertise, leisure, clothing styles, perspectives on life and ambitions for the future.

Next Wall:
Moving Matters