Artist: Akan peoples Region: Ghana Accession: M84-486 Period: 19th century Materials: Metal alloy Dimensions:
With just a sliver of space between their faces, this embracing couple appears about to kiss. The metalsmith has dispensed with correct proportions in order to fit their short legs into this compact but expressive composition. While the faces are generic, the distinctive hairstyle and breasts indicate that one of the couple is female. Their arms are deftly intertwined as they reach to rest their hands on each others’ hips.
When the Akan began making goldweights for use in their currency transactions, they favored geometric or abstract shapes. By the seventeenth century, they had widened their range to include figurative sculptures of humans, animals, birds, plants and objects, although erotic subjects like this example are very rare.