MELODY GORDON HEALY | healyquilts.com

The Spirit of AkuabaTHE SPIRIT OF AKUABA
43 inches wide x 54 inches long
Not for Sale

Allen Morgan Photography

Click on the image for a larger view.

Although the work is meant for Tricia and John yet it was not they but rather the Spirit of their akuaba, their child-to-be, who guided my heart and hands during the Fall of 1993.

1) Six akuaba dolls, two sets of three (the perfect number) surround the central fertility figure:

a) Akuaba dolls are fertility dolls from the Ashanti people of Ghana.

b) Round headed dolls represent hoped-for-girls.

c) Square headed dolls represent hoped-for-boys.

d) Bejeweled dolls implore the Creator for a healthy child, boy or girl, who will be the rich expression of the family, the clan, the tribe.

2) The central figure is a Cyprian Fertility Goddess from the pre-
Mycenaean period of 2500 BC:

a) These island fertility statues expressed the numinous texture which surrounds the mystery of birth.

b) As the dolls express the yang-yin of male-female so the goddess in this presentation expresses the yang-yin of outer-inner.

c) The outer forms of swollen mouth and ears represent the fullness of fertility while the breasts and vulva represent the process of birth itself.

d) The inner forms of heart and womb move in connected and overlapping ways with the outer forms to express oneness between child and mother.

3) Background and Edges:

a) The heavens house the spirits of the akuaba who await birthing.

b) Birds of earth take to the heavens so as to deliver akuaba spirits to forms fashioned by parents.

c) Parents await with joy the birth journey of many months; the expectation, joy, and difficulty are expressed through traditional prairie points.

4) A Frame with Three Borders

a) The central event is contained by a strong black frame.

b) The first and many colored border speaks three cultures. It contains Asian Thai fabric, American Indian designs, and an African men’s weave (hunters carried small looms on their hunts and offered their loom frames as cradles to children born on the hunt).

c) The second border speaks of containment (black) and openness (blue), earth (black) and heaven (blue), life-here (black) and hereafter (blue).

d) The final border is thin and made from East African material. East Africa tells stories of human origin. Thin margins allows for hopes of eternal life for these humans.

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