Asante Maternity Figure on Stool on Custom Base Ghana
This remarkable large figure is very good example of a maternity attributed to the Asante people of Ghana, who are one of the primary art producing cultures in the African continent. The Asante are most famous for their "akua'ba" fertility figures; a form shared by their larger neighbors the Fante. They also excel at small gold-weights; elaborate chairs and stools, and other utilitarian objects. Maternity figures are among the most elaborate Asante sculptures. The sculpture illustrated here depicts a mother about to nurse her two children. The mother is sitting on a stool, symbol of high rank and authority.
The child looks straight out at the viewer. Patina is ebony-colored with mud color applied to hairstyle and faces. Evidence of wear.The theme of maternity goes along with the Asante ideas of fecundity and the continuity of the matrilineal among the Asante. Symbolically, the female figure represents the queen mother which is vouched to perpetuate the matrilineal clan. Such figures were kept in family shrines dedicated to divinities devoted to the fertility and fecundity.
The figure has a brown patina with traces of white pigment. She's well-carved and would hold a prominent place in a collection.
See Cole and Ross's "THE ARTS OF GHANA." More photos available upon request.
I have examined this piece and agree with the description
Niangi Batulukisi, PhD.