Nigerian Clay Money Box

Dublin Core


Nigerian Clay Money Box


From the British Museum Website:
LOCAL CASH BOXThis is one of the commonest and most ancient objects used to store/save valuables such as coins, paper money (currencies) and jewelleries, especially among the Yoruba people of the South West region of Nigeria who call it a 'Kolo'.The local cash box is made from granulated sun-dried clayey soils. The soil is properly grinded and mixed with water. The mixture is then turned several times in order to make it sticky and easy to be moulded into shapes. The wet clayey soils are then moulded into a round shape and a small rectangular slit is created on the box. The moulded box is later sun-dried or occasionally heated by fire after moulding or by being inserted into a locally made oven/furnace. The essence of heating the box in a furnace is to enhance its firmness or shelf life. The box may be coated or painted using diverse colours to make it more attractive and enhance its marketability. Meanwhile, the slit on the box is where the valuables (coins, paper money, jewelleries etc) are inserted into the box for safekeeping. When it is time for the valuables kept inside the box to be removed and used, the box is smashed by hitting it on a hard surface and the valuables inside are evacuated.

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Donated by IMTFI researcher Dr. Isaac Oluwatayo




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“Nigerian Clay Money Box,” IMTFI Archives, accessed July 24, 2024,

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