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Mother and Child Figure

African Art

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Mother and Child Figure

Artwork Details


Asante Artist, Ghana


twentieth century


Wood, pigment, beads, and metal

Accession #



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In Asante communities, mother and child sculptures are placed on the family shrines of both royalty and commoners. They serve a protective function while promoting the continuity of the family’s lineage, as Asante inheritance descends through the maternal line. In this statue, the mother feeds her child from her breast while seated on a stool. Her elaborate coiffure and jewelry suggest a royal status, indicating that she may be either a priestess or a queen mother—the most senior female of a lineage—seated in state for a formal occasion. Her carved sandals further substantiate her elite social position.


Fred and Rita Richman Collection