Asante African Fertility Figurine (19th century) reproduction. The Asante tribe lives in Central and South Ghana on the African Subcontinent. Together with other tribes from this area, they form the Akan Peoples. The artistic tradition of the Asante has had a great influence on all decorative art from Ghana. The Asante sculptures are famous for their figurines of women, known as "Akua'ba." They are usually between 8 to 16 inches in height and have a big, round flat head on a stylized body. This shape fits the ideal of feminine beauty of the Akan women: a high, flat forehead, small mouth and long neck.
The Akan people attribute supernatural powers to this sacred figurine. It stimulates female fertility and helps to conquer infertility. Women carry it with them at all times and treat it like a real child. When the figurine has proven its worth, it is added to the house altar. The small incisions in the face are meant to protect the child against the fits. The other peoples of Ghana also know their own "Aku'ba." For instance, the fertility figurines of the Fante have rectangular heads and those of the Bono have triangular heads.
Part of the Parastone Museum Collection of African artifact reproductions. Asante Fertility Statue is made from resin with a wood finish, black metal base, and measures 8"H x 3.5"W x 1.25"D.