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January 14, 2009

Hair Ornaments: Ashanti

The two faces are representations of an Akuaba doll, which itself represents fertility, beauty and life. These heads and a rising star surmount a throne, it suited for a king or queen. Combs such as this have been used for hundreds of years to adorn the homes and palaces of the Ashanti.

Akuaba are wooden ritual fertility dolls from Ghana and nearby areas. The best known akuaba are those of the Ashanti people, whose akuaba have large, disc-like heads. Other tribes in the region have their own distinctive style of akuaba.

Traditionally, these dolls are carried on the back of women either hoping to conceive a child, or to ensure the attractiveness of the child being carried. When not in active use, the akuaba would be ritually washed and cared for.

Today, one is more likely to see a mass-produced akuaba for sale as a souvenir than an heirloom in ritual use. Traditional use does, however, continue in some areas. The form of the akuaba has also gained currency as a general symbol of good luck. source


Anonymous said...

i would love to give my daughters' one of these when they are older.

Anonymous said...

I always love your historical and informative posts. Big ups. I want to get me some jewelry to wear for my locs sometimes.

Ebony Intuition said...

@ long hair don't care

I want to collect these combs to, to pass on when i have kids.

@ glennisha



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