Ashanti Fertility Doll This wooden statue from the Ashanti people of Ghana, Togo and the Ivory Coast measures over 17.25 inches tall. This piece is believed to be over 30 years old. Ashanti (also Asante) artists tend to place fewer stylistic limits on themselves than many other makers of African art and masks. Once an autonomous nation known as the Asante Empire, and ruled by a powerful king, the Asante spent much of the 18th and 19th centuries in territorial disputes with British and Dutch forces. Finally in 1902, after decades of defeat and decline, the Asante Empire was made part of the British Colony of the Gold Coast. Nonetheless Ashanti kings retained figurehead status after colonization, and even today great pride in the Ashanti King lives on in the tradition of the Golden Stool. In 1960 the Gold Coast achieved independence from British Colonial rule and took the name the Republic of Ghana. It is here in Ghana, Togo and the Ivory Coast that the Ashanti people continue to make their homes.