Akuaba

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Three akuaba. The middle is from the Fante, while the other two are from the Ashanti.

Akuaba are wooden ritual fertility dolls from Ghana and nearby areas. The best known akuaba are those of the Ashanti people, whose akuaba have large, disc-like heads. Other tribes in the region (f.ex. Lobi people ) have their own distinctive style of akuaba.

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 akuaba would be ritually washed and cared for.

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

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