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Asante ritual doll

Core Record

Title Asante ritual doll
Collection Artworld: Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts
Date 1900-1999 CE
Description This ritual doll has a large round face with a high forehead. Its facial features are small, but with a long sagittal nose, that meets the arched eyebrows. Scarification marks are evident under both eyes. The figure displays a coiled effect neck and small pointed breasts with small red beads worn around the right knee. The left hand and both feet have been broken off.
Description Source Helen Coleman
Cultural Context Asante
Id Number Current Accession 631
Location Creation Site Ghana
Location Current Repository Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts
Subject sculpture in the round, figurine, human figurine
Measurements 100 x 260 x 50 mm
Credit Line Asante ritual doll. Africa, Ghana: Asante. 19th century. Wood, beads.h. 25.4cm. Acquired 1975. UEA 631.
Context This is an extremely fine example of the much rarer form of akua' ba with complete limbs. It has been suggested that such images are of a later date; yet the quality of this piece does not suggest the decadence that often characterises stylistically late carvings. Malcom McLeod has pointed out that a doll of this shape does not lend itself to being carried in a woman's waistband, and that it could well have been carved for a shrine. Some shrine akua mma are large; the modest size of this one may indicate that it belonged to a family shrine, perhaps that of an important family.
Until about thirty years ago, akua mma were virtually the only Asante wood carvings brought home by the Europeans, although large numbers of excellent group carvings, some of considerable age, have subsequently appeared. The tiny red beads on the right leg suggest that this akua' ba may be of nineteenth century date.
Context Source Margret Carey. In: Steven Hooper (ed.), 1997, Catalogue to the Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Collection. University of East Anglia.
Context Title Published Catalogue
Rights Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, UEA, Norwich, 2002. All Rights reserved
Work Type figure



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