Akan Akuaba Wood Carved Female Doll

14279. Akan Akuaba Wood Carved Female Doll

Ghana, mid 20th Century

Among the Asante and other Akan peoples, a legendary woman, Akua, gave birth to a beautiful daughter after carrying a small figure as advised by a priest. As a result, Asante women carry these figures to insure the birth of beautiful and healthy children. After childbirth an akuaba figure, almost always female, is retained by a mother as a memento and sometimes as a teaching device for girls, or placed in the shrine of the priest who consecrated it.

Akuaba usually have cylinder-like torsos, often with projecting horizontal arms and large flattened heads. The high foreheads relate to an Akan practice of modeling the pliable crania of infants. The ringed neck is an exaggeration of neck fat and alludes to beauty and well-being. The semi-circular eyebrows meeting at the bridge of the nose and a small mouth typify these carvings, among the most iconic forms in African art. This classic example shows wear from years of handling.
Size 9-1/4 inches Height + custom mount.
Provenance: Ex Collection of Dr. Edward A. Spiegel (1931—2020) Professor of astronomy at New York University and Columbia University who worked on convection theory and on the application of fluid dynamics to astrophysics and was the first to discover Chaos Theory. As a professor, he gained a reputation among his students for his amusing stories of meeting other famous scientists such as Paul Dirac and Stephen Hawking.

$795


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