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People of Ivory Coast used small bronze figurines for weighing gold dust. This tradition started several centuries ago. First, gold weights were made in geometric shapes, as of 17th century goldsmiths started shaping them into animals, trees, people and various objects. They still were used in the trade, but they also started to illustrate local proverbs. By looking at one of these objects, a person would remember the saying. Personages from these proverbs were well known and figurines could even be sent from one person to another as a message.