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Bruce Frank Primitive Art
New York City, NY
+1 917 733 9589

Comb, Duafe

Akan, Ghana
Early 20th Century

Provenance: Tony Chen collection, New York, this comb was originally acquired in the 1970’s. Private Collection, New York

In Ghana, elaborate combs such as this one were gifts from Akan men to women to commemorate special events, such as puberty celebrations, weddings, or births. This example’s iconography informs the reason for its commission: crowned by a female bust with a disk-like head, it echoes the highly conventionalized akua ba fertility figures. As a gift from a husband to his wife the comb underscores the couple’s desire to have children. Evident is also the relationship between the akua ba as an ideal of feminine beauty and the function of the comb in the creation of the coiffure.   This example was carved by a skilled hand, and has considerable age. Its surface his highly worn and its patina is deep and lustrous.

Comb, Duafe

Akan, Ghana
Early 20th Century

Provenance: Tony Chen collection, New York, this comb was originally acquired in the 1970’s. Private Collection, New York

In Ghana, elaborate combs such as this one were gifts from Akan men to women to commemorate special events, such as puberty celebrations, weddings, or births. This example’s iconography informs the reason for its commission: crowned by a female bust with a disk-like head, it echoes the highly conventionalized akua ba fertility figures. As a gift from a husband to his wife the comb underscores the couple’s desire to have children. Evident is also the relationship between the akua ba as an ideal of feminine beauty and the function of the comb in the creation of the coiffure.   This example was carved by a skilled hand, and has considerable age. Its surface his highly worn and its patina is deep and lustrous.

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