Fertility dool – Fante

Akua'ba Fertility Figure - Akan - Fante

Although best known, the Asante Akua'ba is only one version of the fertility doll found among the various Akan peoples. The Fante and  Brong (Bono) people who live respectively to the south and the north of the Asante’s also employ akua’ba dolls, for the same purpose as those of the Asante’s, however, the types are differentiated based on the style. While the heads of the Asante’s are round, flat and disk-like, those of the Fante dolls display long rectangular head and only rarely have arms, most Asante's figures are painted black, Fante figures are left unpainted. But Asante's and Fante's akua'ba dolls shared mutual face traits: eyes shaped like coffee beans framed by long, arching eyebrows that connect at the bridge of the nose. The mouth is generally positioned at the very bottom, leaving no chin. However, the Fante and Brong Akua'ba figures do the same functions and are believed as the Asante fertility dolls and shared the common legendary story of the doll's origination. The legend and tradition continued as most carvers carved these Akua’ba dolls and people bought it with the belief that it will free them from a barren situation (Cameron 1996:47-49).