Fertility Doll (Akuaba)

Brooklyn Museum

About the work

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In Akan legend a woman named Akua believed herself to be infertile. She sought the help of a priest who told her to commission the figure of a healthy child. After the completed figure was blessed, Akua cared for the child as her own: washing it, adorning it with protective amulets, and carrying it on her back. She was mocked by her peers until she gave birth to a baby girl, beginning the practice of caring for such fertility dolls.Akua ba, which means ‘child of Akua,’ are commissioned amongst Akan women who care for them in the same manner Akua did, even tending to them after a successful birth.“Akuaba.” Google Arts & Culture, https://artsandculture.google.com/entity/akuaba/m0fqd26?hl=en.

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