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  • Beaded Doll (Ham Pilu)
  • Beaded Apron
  • Beaded Apron
  • Beaded Apron
  • Elephant Mask
  • Man's Prestige Hat (ashetu)
  • Face Mask
  • Male Royal Ancestor Mask
  • Kuba Belt
  • Kuba Belt
  • Kuba Belt
  • Sash with Triangular Pendant
  • Hat (Mpaan)
  • Hat
  • Beaded Coronet
  • Beaded Coronet
  • Beaded Coronet
  • Female Twin Figure
  • Royal Slippers
  • Divination Tapper
  • Beaded Crown (adenla)
  • Diviner's Bag
  • Seated Female Figure
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  • Dance Staff
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  • Lidded Vessel
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  • Lidded Vessel (Beer Pot)
  • Beaded Panel
  • Beaded Panel
  • Beaded Panel
  • Beaded Panel
  • Beaded Panel
  • Beaded Panel
  • Beaded Panel
  • Beaded Panel
  • Beaded Panel
  • Beaded Panel
  • Man's Back Tie
  • Beaded Panel
  • Beaded Panel Pin
  • Doll
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  • Child Figure
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  • Beaded Earflap
  • Beaded Earflap
Seated Female Figure

Seated Female Figure (Esi mansa)

Akan People (Fante)
Ghana
Seated Femail Figure (Esi mansa)
Wood, paint, patina
Gift of Rod McGalliard
18 x 5 ½ x 5 ½ in. (45.7 x 14 x 14 cm)
1991.27.32

Fante society is matrilineal and most of Fante art focuses on motherhood. Figures seated on a ceremonial stool are known as Esi Mansa, meaning “Esi’s third child.” Esi Mansa figures are placed on shrines where they receive offerings to ensure continuity and well-being of the lineage. The imported glass beaded necklace and waist beads on this example were given to honor and embellish the figures, but the yellow multi-stranded waist beads on both the mother and child, indicating that both are female, remind us that Fante parents fervently hope to have a daughter to carry on the family name. The white beaded necklace serves as a symbol of spiritual purity.

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