Ashanti Fertility Doll (Akuaba Doll)
The Akua ba (Akua`s child) dolls are believed that can induce pregnancy and guarantee safe delivery. Legend is that a woman named Akua had a very beautiful child after carrying one of these figures. A pregnant Ashanti woman would always carry these dolls in a carry cloth on her back to influence birth of a beautiful child. The style of the doll would depend on whether she wished for a boy or a girl. If a boy is wanted a doll with a flat moon-shaped disk for a face is kept while a smaller-headed doll with female features is used for a girl. A rich woman will sometimes have precious stones or beads on the doll. The Ashanti society is matrilineal, family lines being passed from mother to daughter so it is essential that the woman have daughters to carry on the family line.
Upon the conclusion of the carving of the doll, the women would take it to the local priest who would bless the doll and conduct fertility rites. After this had been done, the women would take the doll home and treat it like a real child. This would include dressing it and putting it to bed. If a daughter is born, the doll can be given to the child to play with it.
This doll demonstrates the Ashanti concept of beauty that is a high oval, flattened forehead, a small mouth and a neck ringed to depict creases caused by fat, indicating a healthy diet and wide childbearing hips.
Wood , Beads
Height : 11.5″ (29.2cm)