Charming early 20th century Ashanti Akuaba doll from Ghana. A particularly large example with a great patina and interesting geometric carving to the back of the head. // Disk-headed akuaba figures remain one of the most recognisable forms in African art. Akuaba are used in a variety of contexts; primarily, however, they are consecrated by priests and carried by women who hope to conceive a child. The flat, disk-like head with a high, oval forehead is a strongly exaggerated convention of the Akan ideal of beauty. The flattened shape of the sculpture also serves a practical purpose, since women carry the figures against their backs wrapped in their skirt, evoking the manner that infants are carried.