'Akua Mma' doll, West Africa, 1880–1930

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'Akua Mma' doll, 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. Contributors: Science Museum, London. Work ID: fmegrbzk.

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