Skip to Content

Object Results

Showing 8 of 23


Fertility Doll (Akuaba)

10 x 3 5/8 in. (25.4 x 9.2 cm)

Asante artist

Asante; made in Ghana

Object Type: Sculpture
Medium and Support: Wood and beads
Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Nathaniel T. Whitcomb
Accession Number: 1984.20
Location: Currently on view
Link to this object

Fertility is a universal human concern that has long been a central issue in Africa where the infant mortality rate remains high to this day. An akuaba is a fertility talisman meant to aid an Asante woman yearning to become a mother.

Akuaba are affectionately bathed, dressed, fed and carried by women as they would a living child. Their slight, flat shape is designed to be carried on a woman’s back in her cloth wrapper. When the woman’s child survives childhood, the akuaba is sometimes placed in a shrine as an offering of thanks to the god responsible. Almost all of these fertility dolls are female as the Asante are a matrilineal society and most women wish for daughters to carry on their family line.
[Gallery label text, 2009]

Keywords Click a term to view the records with the same keyword

Additional Images Click an image to view a larger version

Exhibition List
This object was included in the following exhibitions:

Portfolio List Click a portfolio name to view all the objects in that portfolio
This object is a member of the following portfolios:

Your current search criteria is: Keyword is "GXST".

View current selection of records as: