Carved wooden doll or "Akua Mma", in stylized form with flat discoidal head, represents ideal of beauty, Ashanti, West Africa, 1880-1930
This doll is known as ‘akua mma’. It represents beauty as conceived by the Ashanti people of Ghana, West Africa. The dolls are traditionally carried on women’s backs like a real child. This is said to aid conception and a healthy and successful birth. The name akua mma is said to have come from the story of Akua. She was an Ashanti woman having difficulty conceiving a child. A priest advised her to carry a wooden doll on her back. She gave birth to a healthy child some time later. The distinctive shape of the doll is repeated throughout Ashanti art.
- Ethnography and Folk Medicine
- Object Number:
- visual and verbal communication
- Loan: Wellcome Trust
Cite this page
We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.
Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero
Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence
Download catalogue entry as json
Download manifest IIIF
Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.