For additional detail, click on any photo below to see the higher resolution version of the image.
Ewe maternity figure, Ghana
8 3/4" tall
wood, glass beads, pigment
mid 20th century
ex Daniela del Tutto, Rome, Italy
*Similar to a figure in the Yale-Van Rijn Photographic Archives, object # 0111573~01. Probably by the same hand.

SOLD

A finely carved figure adorned with small glass beads holding a child in her hands. Maternity figures such as this
are less common among the Ewe than the dolls that we are used to seeing that are very common. This example is
especially well carved in my opinion, and has a wonderful presence about it.

"The Ewe, who live in southern Togo and Ghana are the eastern neighbors of Asante. They are probably best
known for their textiles and also for small wooden dolls called "
venovi" or "venavi" which are used like the Yoruba
people in Nigeria used
Ibeji twin figurines, for protection of survivor after death of a twin. Some scholars state that
they are also used as children's dolls as well as sometimes used as fertility dolls by women who keep these dolls
under their mattresses or were worn under the skirts of young women to ensure fertility. Scarifications and added
clothing and strings of beads reveal family and clan religious and social affiliations."

Isn't S/He a Doll: Play and Ritual in African Sculpture, Univ of California Museum of (June 1996).
For additional detail, click on any photo below to see the higher resolution version of the image.