A romanization of the Arabic word often romanized as uqiya, derived from the Latin uncia, as is the English word “ounce.” In Latin “uncia” meant one-twelfth as well as the unit of mass which was 1/12th of a libra. The ratio often survives in the word's descendants: uncia: libra; troy ounce: troy pound; uqiya: ratl.


In Kenya, ? – 20th century, a unit of mass, = 1 ounce avoirdupois, approximately 28.3495 grams. (UN 1966)


For gold, silver, silk, scent, and other costly articles, the unit is the wakia, or weight of an Austrian silver dollar, almost exactly an ounce.

Edward Steere.
A Handbook of the Swahili Language as Spoken at Zanzibar. 3rd ed.
London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1884.
Page 456.


In Timbuktu, ? – late 19th century, a unit of mass, about 27.5 grams. This is the North African trade ounce.

Augustin Hacquard.
Monographie de Tombouctou accompagnée de nombreuses illustrations et d'une carte de la région de Tombouctou, dressée d'après les documents les plus récents.
Paris: Société des études coloniales & maritimes, 1900.


Romanized as vakia, mid 19th century, at Mocha in Yemen, a unit of mass, about 31.7 grams. (Waterston, 1855) This particular uqiya standard is based on the Roman gold coin called the aureus, first minted by Augustus. The Arabs took 1 uqiya (of this type) to be equal to 6 2/3 aurei.

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