Female Figure with Child
11 1/4 x 3 3/4 x 3 7/8 in. (28.6 x 9.5 x 9.8 cm)
Medium and Support:
Wood, iron, sacrificial materials
Marion Stratton Gould Fund
Location: Currently on view
This is likely a representation of the Asante Queen Mother, a female relative of the king who has the authority to nominate his successor. The infant’s dependence on the mother for nourishment and protection symbolizes the kingdom’s dependence upon the Queen Mother for guidance. Associated with earth goddesses, agriculture and fertility, this Queen Mother figure was probably kept as part of a fertility shrine where sacrificial offerings were made (remnants of eggshell still remain on her surface). Scholars are confused by the weapon in the mother’s hand and think perhaps it was added at a later date.
[Gallery label text, 2009]