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Female figure (akua ba), late 20th century
Ghana; Asante
Wood, beads, H: 12.125 in, W: 4.25 in
Gift of Lee Lorenz, 1996  96.4.1
Not On View
Interpretation: Many Asante women who want to have healthy children have historically commissioned the carving of small figures for consecration by a priest. The figures are always female, since baby girls are preferred among matrilineal Asante. Each figure's stylized features emphasize and exaggerate Asante ideals of beauty, which include a rounded and sloping forehead and a long, ringed neck.
Provenance: Lee Lorenz, Easton, Connecticut, until 1996; Newark Museum, gift, 1996
Exhibition History:
"Arts of Africa," permanent galleries, Newark Museum, Newark, New Jersey (installed 2008).

Keywords: Female