Shrine figure with movable arms

African, Asante peoples, Ghana
Early 20th century, 1900–50


Object Place: Ghana

Dimensions

Overall: 37 x 14 x 15 cm (14 9/16 x 5 1/2 x 5 7/8 in.)

Accession Number

2009.2660

Medium or Technique

Wood, fabric, cord, beads, metal coin, encrustation

Not On View

Collections

Africa and Oceania

Classifications

Sculpture

The Asante peoples of the Akan kingdom housed sacred materials and figurines in shrine “homes”. The shrines used to be housed in elaborate buildings, some of which the government of Ghana has restored and turned into national monuments. Many Akan speaking peoples refer to all figurative sculptures as akua ma and these figures, along with other offerings, would be placed into the shrine room, which was dedicated to powerful deities.

Inscription

in ink on back of torso: "Mb10"; in ink underside of R foot: "A13"; label on underside of R foot: "85(189)"; label on underside of R foot: "standing figure (must check tribe)"; piece of tape under right foot

Provenance

1967, sold by Mr. Kabah, Monrovia, Liberia, to Geneviève McMillan (b. 1922 - d. 2008), Cambridge, MA; 2008, to the Geneviève McMillan and Reba Stewart Foundation, Cambridge; 2009, gift of the Geneviève McMillan and Reba Stewart Foundation to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 17, 2009)

Credit Line

Gift of Geneviève McMillan in memory of Reba Stewart