Friday, 25 July 2014

Inspired Culture: Ghana Meets Japan --Aku • Ako Fertility Dolls

Loving this Aku • Ako fertility doll with her monochromatic Kente shirt...

 Singer Inna Modja with her Aku • Ako Fertility Doll by Noumbissi Design....

"Aku•Ako are dolls that allow Ghanaian and Japanese traditional crafts to meet." Noumbissi Constantin
Paulina says: How cute and uber fabulous are these inspired Ghana meets Japan, handmade wooden Aku • Ako fertility dolls made by Cameroonian Noumbissi Constantin!!!!
I don't know much about Noumbissi Constantin -only that her dolls are must-haves and her label is called Noumbissi Designs...
Such a clever and inspired idea --I'm predicting that these delectable Aku • Ako fertility dolls are the next big things. They can bepurchased from: or
Anywayssss --I truly hope Noumbissi has patented/copyrighted her dolls as there are many people out there without imagination or talent -but plenty of [cheap] money and no class.
Like Singer Inna Modja et al --I'm now a big fan of Aku • Ako Fertility Dolls, and would love to have a keying version to compliment my Akuaba keying, hopefully one that I can buy in London (hint, hint). I hope to see Aku • Ako fertility dolls available globally -soon.
For more info or to purchase any of the above Aku • Ako fertility dolls visit:

More Info
Culture is what links individuals to one another to create their identity. As a designer, I'm really interested in what Africa, Europe and Asia can teach me and I'm always amazed to notice that these different cultures have a lot in common. That's how Aku•Ako dolls were born !
Akuaba are wooden ritual fertility dolls from Ghana and nearby areas. According to the legend, Akuaba doll comes from the story of a woman named Akua who could not get pregnant and went to a priest and commissioned the carving of a small wooden doll. She carried and cared for the doll as if it were her own child, feeding it, bathing it and so on. Soon the people in the village started calling it "Akuaba" (Akua's child). She soon became pregnant and her daughter grew up with the doll.

Kokeshi dolls have been made for 150 years, and are from Northern Honshū, the main island of Japan. They were originally made as toys for the farmers' children. They have no arms or legs, but a large head and cylindrical body, representing little girls. From a simple toy, it has now become a famous Japanese craft, and now an established souvenir for tourists.
Kokeshi and Akuaba dolls are really similar aesthetically but also in use. So far geographically but so close culturally, Aku•Ako are dolls that allow Ghanean and Japanese traditional crafts to meet. In my very own quest seeking for cross-cultural understanding and respect, Aku•Ako may be the beginning of an answer.

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