Fertility Dolls

Hand Carved In Ghana

Fertilitydoll_0144.jpg (15236 bytes) Brass__fertility_figure_SLF_2194.jpg (29480 bytes) aly_0257.jpg (13675 bytes)

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According to African legend, the bearer of a fertility doll will give birth to a beautiful child 24 inches tall. In Ghana and in most parts of Africa, fertility dolls represent youth and fertility. Akua'maa are carved wooden figures that are believed to induce pregnancy and ensure safe delivery at birth.

A priest giving the fertility deity conducts the rites, afterwards the women carries the doll and treats it like a real child, dressing it up, adorning it with jewelry and putting it to bed. After the mother gives birth to a daughter, she may give the doll to her to play with (this type of gift teaches child care) 

If one closely observe the structure of a fertility doll you will notice a distinct similarity to the Ankh, an ancient Egyptian or Kamitic symbol of life. It has a huge round head and body, and it is shaped like a cross. The head is symbolic of the feminine womb. The shape is a reminder of the active, yet passive manifestations of the womb, which are receptive and gestation. The female egg receives the male sperm, thus gestation occurs: but can only happen during the ovulation point in the woman's cycle. This is why the womb is considered receptive, it is a receiver and receptacle.

The body of the fertility doll is shaped  like a cross, and is similar to the lower part of the ankh. This lower section is similar to a Kamitic symbol known as the Djed, which according to legend is the backbone of the God Ausar (Osins). In the spiritual teachings of ancient Egypt. Ausar possesses great power because his emotions and thoughts are stable and unwavering. The Djed symbol, being Ausar's spinal energy, but needs an antenna to receive spinal energy. This column conducts both parts of the Akwoba figure and are important.

The Akau'maa illustrate the Ashanti concept of beauty: a high oval forehead that in reality is achieved by massaging an infant's soft skull; a small mouth: and a neck ringed to depict creases caused by fat, indicating a healthy diet.

What makes the fertility doll so special is it's reason for being created. African ancestors made symbols out of everything. This brings us to Hieroglyphics and the reason why they are so intriguing.

In the past people would not get caught up in language barriers, as symbols served the same meaning for all nations and therefore the Fertility doll is one of those symbols that stood the test of time. For as long as human history has existed, fertility dolls or symbols have been revered . Long before we knew how babies were made, how crops grew, we knew that our existence depended on renewal of fertility.

Also View

  1. Baule figures
  2. Senfo figures
  3. Bronze sculpture
  4. Ebony figures
  5. Dogon door

Next: African Paintings





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