akuaba (Fertility Figure)

About this object

History of use

Akuaba fertility figures were carved for young Asante women, in order to promote fertility and to ensure the beauty of a child.


Given to the donor as a gift in the late 1960s, when she was working, in France, for the French Government (Union Nationale des Maisons Familiales Rurales d'Education et d'Orientation).

Physical description

Fertility figure (akuaba) in female form. Head is large and round, flat in profile, with cross-hatched hair at top, a slightly protruding forehead, and a small face. Eyes are wide, closed, and nose is small and straight. Decorative gouges decorate the cheeks. Below a long thin neck are small breasts emerging from the torso between stubby arms held to the sides. Stomach is covered with cross-hatched grooves. Legs narrow toward bottom, where they meet the small rectangular base. Back of figure is undecorated.