Akuaba Doll, Asante, from Ghana.
Amongst the Asante these elegantly carved abstract figures are called Akua’ba, or Akua’s Child.
Their origin dates to a particular story that tells of a young woman named Akua , who was having difficulty conceiving of a child (ba). She consulted a medicine man who advised her to make a wooden child and carry it on her back, dressing, bathing and adorning it with beads as if it were a real baby. Faithfully following the priest's advice, a healthy girl child was soon born. Other women emulated Akua, and all such fertility figures are now called ‘Akua’ba’ in her memory (Isn’t S/He A Doll?, Cameron 1996). These magically-endowed dolls invoke the earth mother goddess Asase Yaa and are commonly carried by Asante, Fante and Bono women of Ghana to bring about increased fertility and successful pregnancy.