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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
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.