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About the work

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These seated figures are carved with rounded foreheads typical of Asante akua ba figures. They both have separated, distinguishable legs and feet which are a modern departure from earlier forms which were shaped like pedestals. Akua ba dolls are carried on the backs of pregnant women or people wishing for fertility. This wooden sculpture of two seated figures - the larger of which appears female and the smaller of which appears male - may have sat in an altar assemblage. Due to the matrilineal nature of the culture, male akua ba are rarely commissioned, but this sculpture may represent a real mother and child, hence their size difference, or an effigy of twins.McLaughlin, Ashley. “Akua'ma and Akua'ba-Influenced Art Researched by Sarah Teel and Nicole Manhart.” Art History Virtual Exhibition, Missouri State University, Feb. 2019,

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