1500 Market Center Blvd. Dallas, TX 75207 United States 972.685.0808
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Mid-20th Century Ghanayan Akuba Fertility Doll

Origin Ghana
Period 1950-1979
Materials wood
W. 11.5 in; H. 25 in; D. 7 in;
W. 29.21 cm; H. 63.5 cm; D. 17.78 cm;
Condition Good. Wear consistent with age and use. Excellent. Only some minor rubbing.
Description Presenting a stunning piece of west African Tribal Art, namely, a mid-20th century Ghanayan Akuba fertility doll.

Probably made circa 1960 in Ghana by the Akan Tribe.

A solid piece of carved ebony on plinth featuring a Classic Aku’Ba Fertility Female Figure.

Exceptional detail to the carving, both the round full moon shaped headdress with incised carved band to the facial features, eyes, nose and mouth.

A twisted neck, with outstretched arms and carved protruding boosums.

Carved navel and carved platform base.

Also has a hook on the back for wall hanging.

Bought by a Dallas Private Collector on a safari trip to West Africa and the Congo and Ghana in the 1970s.

In exceptionally good condition, with only some minor rubbing with age.

Akua’ba (sometimes spelled Akwaba or Akuba) are wooden ritual fertility dolls from Ghana and nearby areas. The best known akua’ba are those of the Ashanti people, whose akua’ba have large, disc-like heads. Other tribes in the region (f.ex. Lobi People) have their own distinctive style of akua’ba.

Traditionally, these dolls are carried on the back of women either hoping to conceive a child, or to ensure the attractiveness of the child being carried. When not in active use, the akua’ba would be ritually washed and cared for. The treatment of the Akua’ba has been described as an example of traditional beliefs that corresponds to the occult belief of sympathetic magic.

Today, one is more likely to see a mass-produced akua’ba for sale as a souvenir than an heirloom in ritual use. Traditional use does, however, continue in some areas. The form of the akua’ba has also gained currency as a general symbol of good luck.

The Akan (/'ækæn/) are a Meta-ethnicity living in the southern regions of present-day Ghana and Ivory Coast in West Africa. The Akan language (also known as Twi/Fante) is a group of dialects within the Central Tano branch of the Potou–Tano subfamily of the Niger–Congo family.
Styles / Movements African, Traditional, Tribal
Incollect Reference Number 410910
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