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NOVICA Artisan Juliana Akandas

Juliana Akandas

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I was born April 13, 1969; I am happily married, with three children. After secondary school, I became interested in Ghanaian carvings when I worked as a secretary. I got to know almost every carver in the country. Due to the nature of my job, I visited their various workshops and showrooms and had the opportunity to observe and study various pieces, the methods and finish, as well as their meanings.

For example, my favorite piece is the Akuabaa doll because of its meaning and power. In the Akan tribe of Ghana, the doll represents fertility. It is believed that, when given this doll, any woman who cannot have babies is likely to get pregnant. You can imagine the joy a child brings to such a woman. The Akuabaa doll is also a symbol of twins in Ghana, and they each receive an Akuabaa doll so that in case one should die, during the twin festival the doll is brought out in remembrance of the dead twin.

"I was so fascinated with all this that I decided to learn the trade, and did so through a carver in Aburi. My products are unique; they have a meaning and they are backed by history. Almost all my masks have a meaning and a history behind them.

"I have attended several exhibitions in Ghana since 2001."