Shrine figure with movable arms

Early 20th century, 1900–50
Artist Unidentified

Object Place: Ghana


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

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

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

Not On View


Africa and Oceania



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.


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


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