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Wooden figure of pregnant female, Ivory Coast, West Africa, 1880-1920

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Made of a solid block of wood this carved statue of a pregnant woman comes from the Ivory Coast of West Africa. The statue was possibly created as a fertility symbol. These represent growth and healing in West Africa. They are used to induce pregnancy and ensure a safe delivery. The statue has a flat, oval, stylised face. It is possible the marks on the stomach are the raised marks of scarification on the stomach. These raised scars are considered marks of great beauty within many African cultures.

Object number:

A192019

 

Glossary:

Glossary: statue

A sculpture in the round representing human or animal figures or small figure groups; a statuette is a smaller sculpture.

Glossary: pregnancy

The condition of having a developing unborn embryo or foetus in the body. A human pregnancy is usually of 40 weeks gestation.

Glossary: scarification

The process of making a series of cuts or scratches in the skin to allow a substance to enter the body.

Glossary: Traditional African medicine

No description.