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Three akua'ba. The middle is from the Fante, while the other two are from the Ashanti.

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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Nozedar, Adele, author. The illustrated signs & symbols sourcebook. ISBN 978-0-00-795131-4. OCLC 948789798.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)

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