Large Old Wooden African Ashanti Akub'ba (Akuba) Fertility Figure
Large Old Wooden African Ashanti Akub'ba (Akuba) Fertility Figure
Large Old Wooden African Ashanti Akub'ba (Akuba) Fertility Figure
Large Old Wooden African Ashanti Akub'ba (Akuba) Fertility Figure
Large Old Wooden African Ashanti Akub'ba (Akuba) Fertility Figure
Large Old Wooden African Ashanti Akub'ba (Akuba) Fertility Figure
Large Old Wooden African Ashanti Akub'ba (Akuba) Fertility Figure
Robert Thornton with African Ashanti Fertility Figure
Large Old Wooden African Ashanti Akub'ba (Akuba) Fertility Figure
Large Old Wooden African Ashanti Akub'ba (Akuba) Fertility Figure
Large Old Wooden African Ashanti Akub'ba (Akuba) Fertility Figure
Large Old Wooden African Ashanti Akub'ba (Akuba) Fertility Figure
Large Old Wooden African Ashanti Akub'ba (Akuba) Fertility Figure
Large Old Wooden African Ashanti Akub'ba (Akuba) Fertility Figure
Large Old Wooden African Ashanti Akub'ba (Akuba) Fertility Figure
Large Old Wooden African Ashanti Akub'ba (Akuba) Fertility Figure
Large Old Wooden African Ashanti Akub'ba (Akuba) Fertility Figure
Large Old Wooden African Ashanti Akub'ba (Akuba) Fertility Figure
Large Old Wooden African Ashanti Akub'ba (Akuba) Fertility Figure
Large Old Wooden African Ashanti Akub'ba (Akuba) Fertility Figure
Large Old Wooden African Ashanti Akub'ba (Akuba) Fertility Figure
Large Old Wooden African Ashanti Akub'ba (Akuba) Fertility Figure
Large Old Wooden African Ashanti Akub'ba (Akuba) Fertility Figure
Large Old Wooden African Ashanti Akub'ba (Akuba) Fertility Figure
Large Old Wooden African Ashanti Akub'ba (Akuba) Fertility Figure
Large Old Wooden African Ashanti Akub'ba (Akuba) Fertility Figure
Large Old Wooden African Ashanti Akub'ba (Akuba) Fertility Figure
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  • Load image into Gallery viewer, Large Old Wooden African Ashanti Akub'ba (Akuba) Fertility Figure
  • Load image into Gallery viewer, Robert Thornton with African Ashanti Fertility Figure
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  • Load image into Gallery viewer, Large Old Wooden African Ashanti Akub'ba (Akuba) Fertility Figure
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  • Load image into Gallery viewer, Large Old Wooden African Ashanti Akub'ba (Akuba) Fertility Figure
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LARGE OLD African Ashanti Akua'ba FERTILITY FIGURE. Height: 21 1/4 inches (54 cm)

Vendor
Iconic Edinburgh
Regular price
£295.00
Sale price
£295.00
Regular price
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Unit price
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This is a vintage disk-headed Akua'ba (Akwaba or Akuba) wooden fertility figure, They would have been consecrated by a priest and carried by women hoping to conceive. They were used by the Akan people of Ghana. 

Traditionally, these dolls are carried on the back of women either hoping for a child or to ensure the attractiveness of the child being carried. When not in active use, the figure would be ritually washed and cared for. 

The flat, disk-like head references their ideal of feminine beauty of a round face and wide forehead. The rings on the figure's neck are a standard convention for rolls of fat, a sign of beauty, health, and prosperity. My figure has two simple out-stretched arms - and below are two breasts. Her over-sized head symbolizes intelligence; her round-shaped face is considered beautiful, her fat neck is for prosperity and the out-stretched arms are a sign of generosity. There is a thin panel of engraved designs is on the back of my figure's head. Such designs were believed to be a protective device against witchcraft.

This is a very fine example for display with lots of carefully observed details - and a patina of age. It is not a modern tourist piece and on a stylistic basis - it looks like it dates to the first half of the 20th century.

It is a very large size for this type of doll - measuring just over 21 inches in height (54 cm). She is finely carved with great attention to detail. I love her beautiful silvered headdress.  One of the most unusual details are the two little heads or people acting as supports to each side of the figure - I have never seen another one of these figures with these additions - so quite a rare feature. Perhaps the original owner of this figurine had or wanted twins? 

The wood has a fine patina of age - with some rubbing to raised areas - which is consistent with the sculpture being handled and touched over a good number of years. 

Sadly - this lovely African sculpture will be for posting to the UK only.