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This wooden handmade sculpture features an African mother and child.
This is a recurring theme in African art as it is seen as the ultimate achievement for a woman. An African woman’s roles are as life bearer, nurturer, and source of generations. For an African woman in a traditional rural community, the chief measure of success in life is her ability to bear many children. The very existence of the family and clan depends on women’s ability to bear children, who will provide security for their parents in old age and who will continue to nourish the spirits of the ancestors through sacrificial offerings.
As a result, much African art is directed toward encouraging the fertility of women. Many shrines are devoted to spirits that provide the blessings of fertility, and these frequently contain sculpture and other objects devoted to the concept of fertility.