Asante/Akan

 

The Asante or Ashanti live primarily in Central/South Ghana in West Africa. They were and still are famous gold smiths. Being yam-growers, the most important day in their calendar was the Yam festival. Other peoples of the large Akan family are the Fante, the Anyi and the Abron.

Akuaba statuettes are fertility figures (in the Ashanti language Twi: akua=born on Wednesday, ba=child. They were carried by woman in the back of the waistcloth. It was to help the woman to become pregnant and impart good birth and beauty to the child. The example shown here has face scarifications, on the left cheek a cross, on the right one three vertical lines; there are three horizontal ones in both corners of the mouth. The carved pattern on the back of the head is probably of ritual significance.


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