Carved wooden figure of pregnant female in standing position, arms clutching stomach, flat oval stylized face, Ivory Coast, West Africa, 1880-1920
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.