The Akan reside in the southern regions where Ghana is today located. The Akans, who historically migrated from Ghana, also make up a majority of the population in the Ivory Coast. Among the subgroups we find the Asante (Ashanti), to whom this figure belongs. Ashanti king Asantehene Osei Tutu I, military leader and head of the Oyoko clan, founded the Ashanti kingdom
This couple is a replica of the traditional Ashanti Akua ba doll. Women wanting to conceive a child or simply wanting to ensure the attractiveness of the child carried, would carry these against their backs. The flat, disk-like head is an exaggerated convention of the Ashanti ideal of beauty. Most Akua ba have horizontal arms. The name akua ba comes from the legend of a woman named Akua, who was barren, but desired to bear children. After consulting a priest, he instructed her to command the carving of a small wooden child and to carry it on the back as if it were real. She did and was teased by fellow villagers who began calling the figure Akua ba (Akua’s child). Akua finally gave birth to a beautiful baby girl and started a tradition.
Given these items are hand carved by an artisan, the dimensions are approximate, they may vary from one to another.