Mid 20C Ghanayan Akuba Fertility Doll

PRESENTING A STUNNING piece of West African Tribal Art, namely, a Mid 20C Ghanayan Akuba Fertility Doll.

Probably made circa 1960 in Ghana by the Akan Tribe.

A solid piece of carved ebony on plinth featuring a CLASSIC Aku’Ba Fertility Female Figure.

Exceptional detail to the carving, both the round full moon shaped headdress with incised carved band to the facial features, eyes, nose and mouth.

A twisted neck, with outstretched arms and carved protruding boosums.

Carved navel and carved platform base.

Also has a hook on the back for wall hanging.

Bought by a Dallas Private Collector on a safari trip to West Africa and the Congo and Ghana in the 1970’s.

In exceptionaly good condition, with only some minor rubbing with age.f

Akua’ba (sometimes spelled Akwaba or Akuba) are wooden ritual fertility dolls from Ghana and nearby areas. The best known akua’ba are those of the Ashanti people, whose akua’ba have large, disc-like heads. Other tribes in the region (f.ex. Lobi people) have their own distinctive style of akua’ba.

Traditionally, these dolls are carried on the back of women either hoping to conceive a child, or to ensure the attractiveness of the child being carried. When not in active use, the akua’ba would be ritually washed and cared for. The treatment of the Akua’ba has been described as an example of traditional beliefs that corresponds to the occult belief of sympathetic magic.[1]

Today, one is more likely to see a mass-produced akua’ba for sale as a souvenir than an heirloom in ritual use. Traditional use does, however, continue in some areas. The form of the akua’ba has also gained currency as a general symbol of good luck.

Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akuaba


The Akan (/ˈækæn/) are a meta-ethnicity living in the southern regions of present-day Ghana and Ivory Coast in West Africa. The Akan language (also known as Twi/Fante) is a group of dialects within the Central Tano branch of the Potou–Tano subfamily of the Niger–Congo family.[2] Subgroups of the Akan people include:

Subgroups of the Bia-speaking Akan groups include the AnyinBaouléChakosi (Anufo), Sefwi (Sehwi), NzemaAhanta, and Jwira-Pepesa. The Akan subgroups all have cultural attributes in common; most notably the tracing of matrilineal descent, inheritance of property, and succession to high political office.[3]

Akan culture can also be found in the Americas, where a number of Akans were taken as captives. Roughly ten percent of all slave ships that embarked from the Gold Coast contained Akan people. The primary source of wealth in the Akan economy was gold. However, the capture and sale of Akan people peaked during the Fante and Ashanti conflicts (as both sold many of their captives as prisoners of war). Akan conflicts led to a high number of military captives, known as “Coromantee“, being sold into slavery. The Coromantee soldiers and other Akan captives were notorious for various slave revolts and plantation resistance tactics. These captives were feared throughout America. Their legacy is evident within groups such as the Maroons of the Caribbean and South America.

Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akan_people

Mid 20C Ghanayan Akuba Fertility Doll.

Provenance: From a Dallas Private Collection.

Condition: Excellent. Only some minor rubbing.

Dimensions: 25″ Tall, 11.5″ Wide and 7″ Deep

PRICE NOW: $1,400

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