One of the lagoon peoples living to the east of Abidjan belonging to the Akan group. Atye origins are uncertain and their language differs. They have their own distinctive style of carving. Body parts are clearly demarcated with grooves indicating knees and ankles. Small ivory finials, notable for their detail, have been attributed to them. These appear originally to have been attached to staffs or fly whisks.
Numbering approximately 55,000 the Atye's artistic ouput includes wood carving comprising stools, which are recognized as "seats" of power, and wooden dolls (akua ba) that are associated with fertility.
Additional material: Helen Coleman
John Heron Dickson | Dec 1997