Barakat Gallery
Login | Register | User Services | Search | Newsletter Sign-up
Barakat Gallery
HOME : African & Tribal Art : Akan, Asante, Fanti : Asante Terracotta Head
Click to view original image.
Asante Terracotta Head - CK.0595
Origin: Southern Ghana
Circa: 16 th Century AD to 18 th Century AD
Dimensions: 13.75" (34.9cm) high x 8" (20.3cm) wide
Collection: African
Medium: Terracotta


Location: United States
Purchase
Currency Converter
Place On Hold
Ask a Question
Email to a Friend
Previous Item
Next Item
Photo Gallery
Click photo to change image.
Print image
Click photo to change image.
Print image
Click photo to change image.
Print image
Click photo to change image.
Print image
Description
This impressive ceramic head was made by the Asante of what was once the Gold Coast (now Ghana). It comprises an elongated, thin ringed neck that flares outwards towards the base, supporting an oversized, flattened round head. The features are all rendered in low relief, including the coffee-bean shaped eyes and mouth as well as the T-shaped brow and nose lines. The surface is patinated and scratched from time and, perhaps, exposure to the elements.

The Ashanti/Asante are one of the many tribes that make up the Akan polity. They all share general cultural trends while maintaining separate tribal identities. Their society is highly ritualised, with numerous gods under a main deity who varies according to the group in question (Onyame – the Supreme One – is the Asante deity), and a host of lesser gods (Abosom) who are mostly connected with the natural world (earth, ocean, rivers, animals etc). The society is ruled by Asantahenes, and a host of minor chiefs. The Ashanti live in the central portion of the country, and are one of the most important groups from the artistic point of view. Their Akuaba dolls are one of the most recognisable forms on the continent, while their fascination with gold (which the Akan consider a physical manifestation of life’s vital force, or “kra”) has given rise to a plethora of artefactual and artistic production.

Pieces such as this are comparatively uncommon, and were designed as grave markers for important chiefs. They were first used in the 16th century, and their use declined from the 18th century onwards. They were paraded through the streets at funerals and on commemoration days, then left on graves and shrines to receive prayers and libations. Studies have revealed varying cultural origins; the flat-faced versions are of a Kwahu origin, and most closely resemble the famous Akua’ba dolls (a certain resemblance to specific Bura pieces has also been noted, although this is perhaps coincidental). The other main style – to which the current piece belongs – is influenced by the Fante and the Fomena-Adanse people. They are noted for their serene expressions and complex coiffures, and this is a very unusual and rare example. - (CK.0595)

 

Home About Us Help Contact Us Services Publications Search
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy Security

Copyright (c) 2000-2022 by Barakat, Inc. All Rights Reserved

contact-form@barakatgallery.com - TEL 310.859.8408 - FAX 310.276.1346

coldfusion hosting