African Akua'ba Fertility Sculpture
One of the most commonly recognized forms of African art is the akua'ba from the Ashanti people in Southern Ghana. The female figures, created by male carvers, embody the features that are regarded as ideals of feminine fertility and beauty. The high oval forehead on the oversized head indicates knowledge; the rings around the neck denote rolls of fat. The female form is quite stylized, with the tubular body complete with protruding navel and stiffly outstretched arms and small breasts.
This akua'ba was carved of a warm, reddish brown wood with a beautiful grain. The body is fully round, while the back of the head is also flat and is carved with designs. The piece stands 17 1/2 inches tall, measures 4 3/4 across the arms and stands on a circular base about 2 inches in diameter. It stands independently if it is not jostled in any way. We recommend you use a dab of Museum Putty, Tacky Wax or something similar to prevent tipping--they're all available on Etsy.
The akua'ba weighs just 10 ounces and is in great condition, with just minor wear on the ends of the arms and the base the only items of note. The abstract appearance of this sculpture makes it especially compatible with modern as well as ethnic art.