A very nicely carved vintage Male & Female Pair of ASHANTI AKUABA FERTILITY DOLLS measuring 14" in height and 8" in width. These Disk-headed akuaba figures remain one of the most recognizable forms in African art. Akua ba are used in a variety of contexts; primarily, however, they are consecrated by priests and carried by women who hope to conceive a child. The flat, disklike head is a strongly exaggerated convention of the Akan ideal of beauty: a high, oval forehead, slightly flattened in actual practice by gentle modeling of an infant's soft cranial bones. The flattened shape of the sculpture also serves a practical purpose, since women carry the figures against their backs wrapped in their skirt, evoking the manner that infants are carried. The delicate mouth of the figure is small and set low on the face. . Most akua ba have abstracted horizontal arms and a cylindrical torso with simple indications of the breasts and navel; the torso ends in a base as opposed to human legs. The style of this sculpture is rare among other extant examples of akua ba due to its miniaturized naturalistic body, arms, and legs. Full-bodied figures such as this are believed to be a recent twentieth-century innovation within the akua ba sculptural tradition.The Ashanti tribe, located in central Ghana is the largest tribe of the region. The people of this tribe live in the West African Rainforest nearly 150 miles away from the west coast. It is the major indigenous tribe of the Akans (Ashanti and Fanti) of Ghana.Ashanti, (Asante) , are a nation and ethnic group native to the Ashanti Region of modern-day Ghana.
The Asante people speak the Asante dialect of Twi. The language is spoken by over nine million ethnic Asante people as a first or second language. The word Ashanti is an English language misnomer. Asante literally means "because of wars". The wealthy gold-rich Asante people developed a large and influential empire; the Ashanti Empire along the Lake Volta and Gulf of Guinea. The Ashanti are believed to descend from Abyssinians, who were pushed south by the Egyptian forces. Ashanti are a matrilineal society where line of descent is traced through the female. Historically, this mother progeny relationship determined land rights, inheritance of property, offices and titles. It is also true that the Ashanti inherit from the paternal side of the family. Property is defined as something inherited from the father, hence the name "agyapade", meaning inheritance from a good father.
The Ashanti Empire was founded in 1670 and the Ashanti capital Kumasi was founded in 1680 the late 17th century by Asantehene (emperor) Osei Kofi Tutu I on the advice of Ɔkͻmfoͻ Anͻkye, his premier. Sited at the crossroads of the Trans-Saharan trade routes, Kumasi megacity's strategic location contributed significantly to the growing wealth of Kumasi. Over the duration of Kumasi metropolis' existence, a number of peculiar factors have combined to transform Kumasi metropolis into a fitting financial centre and political capital.] The main causal factors included the unquestioning loyalty to the Ashanti monarchy and Kumasi metropolis' growing wealth derived in part from the capital's lucrative domestic-trade in items such as bullion.
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