Figurative doll - Wood - AKUABA - Asante - Ghana

Figurative doll - Wood - AKUABA - Asante - Ghana
Vintage - used with visible signs of wear

Giving birth to a child is a singular rite of passage for a Ghanaian woman. The inability to conceive is cause for suspicion of poor health, even witchcraft. The traditional solution for the barren woman is the AKUA’ BA DOLL. More than a “doll” in the Western sense, an AKUA’ BA DOLL is a surrogate child, wrapped in cloth and carried on the back as one would carry a normal African baby; suckled and put to bed like a real child. An AKUA’ BA DOLL is a good luck charm, an attempt to lobby the fertility gods for a child.
According to legend, a barren woman named Akua went to a traditional priest for help. He instructed her to commission a small wooden child and carry it on her back, treating it as if it were a living child. This subjected her to ridicule in the village, and the term “Akua’ ba” (“child of Akua”) was born. In time, however, Akua conceived, giving birth to a beautiful baby girl. Of a sudden, carrying an AKUA’ BA DOLL became common practice, a symbol of hope for barren women. So prevalent did they become, in fact, that even pregnant women took to carrying them—to ensure a healthy child. The disc-shaped head and the neck depicting rolls of fat are ideals of Ashanti beauty. They once molded the shape of their newborns’ heads in such a way.

Shipping via Royal Mail or other courier (unless requested otherwise) within 24hrs after payment is received. Tracking number will be provided. Signature upon delivery. Fully insured.

Lot details
Figurative doll
Indigenous object name
Ethnic group/ culture
Region/ country
Vintage - used with visible signs of wear
Sold with stand
38.5×15×6 cm
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