Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Good Luck - and More --- Day 4/278

Walk: Fillmore
Distance: 2.4 miles (catch up paperwork day) 

When women in Ghana or nearby areas wish to conceive a child or to ensure the attractiveness of the child being carried, they often acquire a ritual fertility doll known as an akuaba.  The best known are those of the Ashanti people whose akuaba have large, disc-like heads - like the one on Ciwt's mantle.
(Round or oval shaped heads are considered ideally beautiful by this tribe; other tribes in the region have their own distinctive style of akuaba).

The legend of the origin of the Akuaba doll concerns a woman named 'Akua' who could not get pregnant and went to a local diviner or priest and commissioned the carving of a small wooden doll.  She carried and cared for it as if it were her own child, feeding it, bathing it and so on to the point where the people in her village started calling the doll "Akua' 'ba' - meaning Akua's child (or ba).  She soon became pregnant and her daughter grew up with the doll.

Although Akua's tradition continues to this day, Ciwt did not have it in mind when she brought her little African carving into her life.  She liked it for its pleasant simplicity and didn't learn until quite recently about its fertility associations.  Ciwt still finds her akuaba pleasing company on her mantle and was happy to learn that it has 'fostered' another, current, meaning - Good Luck.

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