TRIBAL AFRICAN ART

FANTI (FANTE)

Living along the Gulf of Guinea and in adjacent inland areas (southern Ghana), the Fanti have distinctive arts belonging to their military companies, Asafo. Fante military organizations have absorbed and adopted European ideas, motifs, objects, and technologies into their own artistic culture. Each state and most large communities have several Asafo companies. Each company owns certain exclusive colors, motifs, musical instruments, and other insignia, with any violation of such prerogatives by another company being considered an act of aggression. Art, then, may and does cause disputes, which in the old days erupted into virtual warfare. Painted figures and “master” drums, invariably female, are known. The Fanti use acua’ba dolls, which differ from those of the Ashanti, their northern neighbors. As this is a matrilineal society, the acua’ba  are female. They are used as fertility figurines in shrines or worn by women either to induce conception or, during pregnancy, to assure the birth of a beautiful child, preferably, a daughter. Usually the Fanti dolls do not have any arms and legs. They mostly appear with rectangular or elongated heads. 

fante.small2.g.jpg (11145 bytes) fante.small1..g.jpg (15561 bytes) ashanti.combs_small.jpg (4178 bytes)