Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Akua'ba by Bonsu

Name: Akua'ba
Artist's Name: Osei Bonsu
Date: ca. 1935
Period: 20th century African
Material: Wood, beads, and pigment

These small dolls acted as fertility tokens for Akan women. The simplified wood sculptures were consecrated at a shrine, then carried by a woman hoping to conceive. Once pregnant, the woman continued to carry the figure to ensure the safe delivery of a healthy and handsome child, preferably a girl. Each akua'ba is different and this one reflects aspects of Bonsu's style: a more naturalistic rendering of the face and crosshatched eyebrows.

Note: I couldn't find a picture on the internet of the specific akua'ba in my book. This one is similar in shape and general idea but the one in my book is much cooler.

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