Akua'maa Fertility twin figures

Type: Twin Figures
Exhibits: Cycle of Life
Tribes: Akan peoples, Fante group
Location: Ghana
Period: 20th Century
Materials: Pigment, White Kaolin, Wood

This is a unique Fante akua'ba sculpture, used to honor twins and placate the ancestral spirits. Twins among many groups in Africa (mainly Yoruba, famous for their ere ibeji figures) reflect their parents exceptional fertility. In addition, they are believed to have special access to both the human and the spirit world. Special ceremonies are conducted for and by twins to celebrate their parents' fertility and to encourage the pair to bring abundance, multiple births, to the community. If one twin dies, a small figure is carved to take its place and is given the same treatment as the living twin. As mystical double souls, twins receive gifts, uncommon foods, and protective charms. Several groups also create images to memorialize them or to house their souls when they die (Cole 1989: 85). 

Akua'maa Fertility twin figures
Akua'maa Fertility twin figures