It is easy to turn cowries into beads by piercing a hole in their upper side.
This carved wooden figure on display in the KwaZulu-Natal Museum wears two money cowrie pendants around her neck.
The figure is an akua’ba from the Kumasi district of southern Ghana, made by an Asante artist over 100 years ago.
Symbolically, akua’ba combine attributes of women and children in the same form. They are believed to help women bear children, but they also represent family and social solidarity, which is forged through relationships between different generations of women within Asante communities.
https://static.xx.fbcdn.net/images/emoji.php/v9/tde/1/16/1f4f8.png"); background-size: 16px 16px; height: 16px; width: 16px;">📸The akua’ba figure on display at the KwaZulu-Natal Museum (front and back views). Photos: Justine Wintjes (2020).
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