Thursday, November 20, 2014

"Akua'ba" acrylic painting by Manisha Vedpathak

African symbols are very intriguing, their Ancestors made
symbols out of everything. Fertility Doll is one of the oldest
symbol which is also known as "Akua'ba"(pl. Akua'maa).

. The round, flat disc heads, columnar body with outstretched arms

 and smooth, black surface convey the Asante (or Ashanti) ideal of beauty.
In Ghana ,fertility dolls represent youth and fertility. These dolls are
carved in wood and are believed to induce pregnancy. Fertility dolls are
famous and special for the reason behind its creation.

It is one of the most familiar stories in African culture. At some time in the 
past, there was a young Asante woman called "Akua"( wednesday born)
who was having trouble in conceiving a child("ba"). So she was adviced
by a priest to commission a wood carving of a child. She was instructed 
to treat carving just like a living being. She was to carry the carving 
on her back as all the children are carried , tucked into the wrapper 
,with only the head appearing above the cloth and look after the carving
just like any child is been looked after. So Akua did just as she was told
but people teased her pointing at her carving. But eventually Akua got pregnant
and gave birth to a beautiful healthy girl and her success encouraged others
suffering from infertility to follow her path and thus the carvings came to be
 known after her name Akua'ba(Akua's child).

 And so the title of my painting is "Akua'ba". There are a few fertility dolls
in my painting and the images of mother carrying the child on her back
(these images which I am very fascinated about) , and thus came the abstract and 
very interesting juxtaposition of these images and various geo shapes .

Hope you all enjoy the painting!
Acrylic on canvas,27"X50"

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