SPIRITS-SPEAK

african sculpture Vintage Hand Carved Wood Hand Ashanti, Ghana: An ‘Akuaba’ fertility-1998

$59 $92
25.5/11 CM
Among the Ashanti people in Ghana, women hoping for offspring carry these ‘Akuaba dolls’ in their clothes. Traditionally, these ‘Akuaba’ have a large, round, flat head that is reminiscent of its origin as a representation of the moon goddess, which is associated with fertility. Once the ‘Akuaba’ figure has fulfilled its purpose, the mother of the desired child places it on her domestic altar, where it is worshipped in a shrine, or she passes it on to the next generation. The present, typical ‘Akuaba doll’ is carved from light-coloured, lightweight wood in traditional form and dyed black. It has a large, round head, with sketched hairstyle lines to the right and left, splayed eyebrows, small coffee bean eyes and three short lines representing the typical tribal scarification marks on the left cheek. A characteristic chip-carving relief and an accentuated back line are visible on the reverse. The neck displays notched rings, and further scarification marks are recognisable across the chest and on the abdomen. On exposed areas, such as the nose, the end of the short protruding arms, the breasts and the accentuated navel, the present ‘Akuaba’ figure displays noticeable traces of wear as a result of protracted use. Good patina

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