African art > African Dolls > Ashanti doll
Ashanti Akua' ba doll (N° 20063)
Vows of fertility in African Ashanti art.
This stylized female figure, called Akua'ba (plural Akua'mma), has features typical of Ashanti dolls, generally without legs: a flat, circular head surmounting a cylindrical bust with horizontal arms. Thin necklaces of colored beads contrast with the glossy mahogany patina.
These stylized wooden effigies were worn by pregnant women, tightly wrapped in their loincloths, to ensure the arrival of beautiful children. The overwhelming majority of these statues are female, with breasts.
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The Ashanti are one of the ethnic groups of Ghana (formerly the "Gold Coast"), part of the Akan group, inhabiting a region covered by forests. Like other populations living in the central and southern part of Ghana, they speak a language of the Twi group. This people consider the woman to be the final arbiter of all decisions.
Fertility and children are the most common themes represented in Ashanti wood carvings.
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