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Ashanti doll -Akuaba fertility doll from Ghana

A fertility doll from the Ashanti people of Ghana



This Akuaba doll is a traditional wooden doll from the Ashanti people of Ghana, Africa. The doll is traditionally carved from wood, and is usually around 10 to 12 inches tall. This one is 9.4 inch = 24 cm high. The most common depiction of an Akuaba doll is of a slim and elongated figure with a flat and circular head, a narrow neck, and an enlarged, flattened and circular face. The face is often adorned with scarification marks and with holes intendended to attach glass bead jewelry .

The most distinctive feature of an Akuaba doll is its head, which is typically oversized and represents fertility, as the Ashanti people often used the dolls to aid in the process of childbirth. The dolls were believed to possess spiritual power that could aid in the conception of a child to assure it future character and ensure a healthy pregnancy and birth.

After the birth the Akuaba doll is also used as a toy for children and as a decorative item for homes. In recent years, Akuaba dolls have become popular collectibles and decorative items, and are typically sold as souvenirs or as part of African art collections. But those are not so refined in execution as this one.

Provenance: Old french collection.

Estimated age: End XIXth- Early XXth.

Expertise: This is what Ron van Doorn an author and expert said about this Akuaba, comparing with those sold at Sotheby's.

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