Fertility Figure (Akua Ba)
Ghana, Asante
Early 20th Century
Provenance: Oscar Agard, Newark, NJ. Acquired 1970-1990’s, then by descent to family.

Akuaba figures are used in a variety of contexts throughout Ghana. They primarily function as a fertility charm and carried by women who hope to have a child. Akuaba figures from the Asante have large, flat, dislike heads, consistent with their ideals of beauty. This female figure is a beautiful example. The large forehead, arched eyebrows, delicate mouth, along with facial scaring and rings on the figure’s neck, convey health and prosperity. This Akuaba’s back has been carved to emulate the figure’s coiffure. The abstracted cylindrical torso with horizontal arms abruptly ends in a flat base, an early twentieth-century innovation in figurative sculpture.

Height: 10.25 inches
IN 7-1-16 / SOLD


Bruce Frank Primitive Art Gallery   |   208 W 83rd St NYC   |  + 1 (212) 579 359   |   bfrank212@aol.com