In the Ashanti Region of southern Ghana, the awisiaado, or orphan’s necklace, is a golden dual-disk chest ornament of ‘maternal’ consolation presented to bereaved adult children during the commemorative funeral rites for a mother or especially benevolent father. Join Dr. Suzanne Gott, Associate Professor of Art History and Visual Culture at the University of British Columbia for a talk addressing the meanings and formal presentations of these evocative golden emblems of maternal benevolence and enduring care. Dr. Gott will trace the royal origins of the awisiaado and the 20th-century appropriation and transformation of this regalia form into popular culture as a breast-like funerary necklace embodying the nurturing essence of Asante motherhood.
This talk is presented in conjunction with The Power of Gold: Asante Royal Regalia from Ghana. The exhibition includes over 200 items of gleaming gold regalia, colorful and intricately woven silk kente cloth, ceremonial furniture, state swords, linguist staffs, and other significant objects related to Asante royals from the 19th through the 21st centuries. The Power of Gold reveals the splendor of Asante regalia through objects from private and public collections, including works in the DMA's collection.
This talk is part of Late Nights at the Dallas Museum of Art
Image: Doll (akua'ba), 20th century, wood, glass beads, and fiber, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Henry H. Hawley III, 1981.173