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African art - African Dolls:

Many contemporary commentaries claim that dolls and puppets were introduced to the African continent by the Catholic missions for didactic purposes. However, it is clear that the ancestral tradition of puppet show existed long before the arrival of the missions. African puppets are predominantly used in men's shows, while dolls are used by girls and women.


Ashanti doll
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African art > African Dolls > Ashanti doll

Used among the Ashanti and the Fantis of Ghana, the Akuaba (plural Akua'mma) doll statuettes are amulets used by Ashanti women to promote fertility. Most of the time with a stylized appearance, this specimen has a flat and circular head surmounting a more naturalistic morphology. A mark of beauty, the often ringed neck also symbolizes prosperity.
Carried on the backs of women, these statues are also accompanied by various rites, such as the ingestion of a potion, or the placing of the object on the family altar. After the birth of the child, the sculpture is used as a toy, and sometimes still offered to the healer in order to witness its effectiveness. Locally abraded glossy black patina.


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Yoruba figures
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Yoruba figures

These sculptures of golden beige hue, embodying twins, are accessorized with their "abiku" protective ornaments made of metal, shells and beads. Their characteristics link them to the egba style. Desiccation cracks.
In the language of the Yoruba people, ibeji means twin: ibi for born and eji for two. They represent the figure of a deceased twin. This ibedji is then treated as the missing child would have been. It is the mother who has to take care of him; she can wash and feed him regularly. If she dies, the remaining twin takes over.
Sometimes a man would also have ibeji carved for his wife to induce pregnancy. As a carrier of the twin's soul, the ibeji influences the life of the family, becoming a source of benefit to his parents, who continue to offer prayers and ...


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Kwéré doll
African art > African Dolls > Kwéré doll

The Zaramo and the tribes around them, Kwéré, Doé, designed barely distinguishable dolls generally associated with fertility, but to which other virtues would be attributed. Their first role is played during the period of confinement of the young initiate Zaramo. The novice will behave towards the object as with a child, and will dance with it during the closing ceremonies of the initiation. In case the young woman does not conceive, she will adopt the "child". Among the Zaramo, this carved motif is repeated on the top of canes, decorates ritual objects and even appears on burial posts. The form is recurrent, a stylized head, topped with a double or single crest surmounting a tubular bust devoid of arms where the breasts and the umbilicus are indicated by a slight relief. The use of ...


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Mwana hiti doll
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African art > African Dolls > Mwana hiti doll

The Zaramo and the tribes that surround them, such as the Kwere and the Doé, have designed dolls that are generally associated with fertility, but to which other virtues are attributed. Its primary role is played during the period of seclusion of the young Zaramo initiate. The novice will behave towards the object as she would towards a child, and will dance with it during the closing ceremonies of the initiation. In the event that the young woman does not conceive, she will adopt the "child. Among the Zaramo, this carved motif is repeated at the top of canes, decorates ritual objects and even appears on burial posts. The form is recurrent, a stylized head, topped with a double or single crest surmounting a tubular bust without arms on which a slight relief indicates the breasts and ...


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Ewe figure
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Ewe figure

Ex-Belgian African art collection.
An evocation of the missing twin, thisfemale statuette has a light patina on which faint colored residues remain. Cracked base.

The Ewe, often confused with the Minas, are the largest ethnic group in Togo. They are also found as minorities in Ghana, Benin, Côte d'Ivoire and Nigeria. Although we have little historical information about them, it seems that their establishment in their current location results from invasions and conflicts that broke out during the 17th century. The Ewe regard the birth of twins called Venavi (or Venovi) as a happy omen. The latter must be treated identically and fairly. For example, both will be fed and washed at the same time and will wear the same clothes until puberty.
If one of the two twins dies, ...


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Ewe fetish statuette
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African art > The fetish, this emblematic object of primitive art > Ewe Fetish

African art and tribal cult vodun of the ewe and fon
Affubé populations of various amulets in the form of jewelry, horns filled with substances mixed with red clay, metal accessories, dried seeds, and reptile skin belt, this realistic statuette was ritually coating with a thick powder coating peeling locally. The pupils are made up of red beads, and one of the feet is altered. Desication cracks, furrows.
In Togo, African fetishes are part of beneficial or evil rituals according to the intentions of their owner. The fetishists, following the divination ritual of the fa using palm nuts, make them to order to offer protective and medicinal virtues but also offer more conventional ready-to-use versions.
These practices are still in use today are sometimes decried and ...


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Yoruba figure
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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Yoruba figure

Pearl and torque necklaces constitute the "abiku", protective adornments of this "era" (statues) of twins. The crest hairstyle here is enhanced with indigo. In the language of the Yoruba people, ibeji means twin: ibi for born and eji for two< /i>. They represent the figure of a deceased twin. This ibedji is then treated as the missing child would have been. It is the mother who must take care of him; she can wash and feed him regularly. If she dies, the remaining twin takes over. It also happened that a man had ibeji carved for his wife in order to induce pregnancy. Support for the soul of the twin, the ibeji influences the life of the family, becoming a source of benefits for his parents, the latter continuing to send him prayers and to devote worship and libations to him.
A ...


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Ibeji Yoruba
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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Ibeji Yoruba

Ibeji statuettes, incarnation of the missing child in African Yoruba art.
Large almond-shaped eyes, notched scarifications on the face, braids collected in a crest generally illustrate the aesthetic traditions of African Yoruba art. This female effigy wears necklaces of pearls and cowries and a wooden torque. These adornments had a protective function. Shiny patina, indigo highlights.
In the language of the Yoruba people, ibeji means twin: ibi for born and eji for two. They represent the figure of a deceased twin. These African statuettes named ibeji are then treated as the missing child would have been. It is the mother who must take care of them; she can wash and feed them regularly. If she dies, the remaining twin takes over. Considered as much more than a physical ...


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Baoule figure
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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Baoule figure

Western influences in African artbaoulé .
Commonly called "colon" but sometimes however embodying a type of "ideal spouse" according to individual criteria, this male figure, coated with a softened polychrome patina, is depicted in Western garb(African Art Western Eyes, Baule", Vogel, p.253 to 257). Two types of statues are produced by the Baule in the ritual context: Waka-Sona statues, "being of wood" in Baule, evoke an assié oussou, being of the earth. They are part of a type of statues intended to be used as a medium tool by the diviners komien, the latter being selected by the spirits asye usu in order to communicate revelations from the beyond. The second type of statues, made according to the indications of the diviner, are the spouses of the afterlife, male, the Blolo bian ...


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Namji doll
African art > African Dolls > Namji doll

The dolls of the Namji or Dowayo , a people of animist mountain people living in northern Cameroon, have recently become known. This stylized anthropomorphic figure, standing on bowed legs that the shoulders reproduce, has a long neck and a reduced head, topped with a crest. Fine necklaces of glass beads encircle the body and a small sachet-talisman accompanies the ornaments.
Glossy, velvety patina.
These African tribal dolls are carved in wood by the blacksmith, initially for the play of little girls. But these dolls are mainly used by sterile women in complex fertility rituals, the doll becoming a surrogate child that they will treat as such. In some cases the groom offered it to his future wife, the doll representing their future offspring. The decoration of the doll can ...


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Zaramo doll
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African art > African Dolls > Zaramo doll

The silhouette of the African dolls of the Zaramo and Kwéré is recurrent, a stylized human form, topped with a double or single crest surmounting a tubular bust without arms where the breasts and umbilicus are indicated by a slight relief. The use of pearls is also frequent in the ornamentation of Zaramo statuary. Lustrous patina of use. Cracking
The Zaramo and the tribes that surround them, such as the Kwéré and the Doé, have designed dolls generally associated with fertility, but to which other virtues are attributed. Its primary role is played during the period of seclusion of the young Zaramo initiate. The novice will behave towards the object as she would towards a child, and will dance with it during the closing ceremonies of the initiation. In the event that the ...


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Namji doll
African art > African Dolls > Namji doll

African art fertility dolls.
Forming a flat triangle, this doll gradually widens towards the base, resting on the geometric blocks representing the feet. Proportionally reduced, a head with summary features is embellished with a high crested hairstyle. Inlays of numerous colored glass beads.
Abraded satin patina.
It is only fairly recently that the dolls of the Namji or Dowayo, a people of mountain animists living in northern Cameroon, have been known. These effigies represent the human body in stylized elementary forms. These African tribal dolls are carved in wood by the blacksmith, initially for the play of little girls. But these dolls are mainly used by sterile women in complex fertility rituals, the doll becoming a surrogate child that they will treat as ...


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150.00

Bwende head
African art > Puppets, dolls > Bwende head

This childlike puppet-like head forms a reduction of the famous niombo , a funerary anthropomorphic "package", sometimes of giant size, representing the deceased among the Bwende. The niombo was buried at funerals during ancestor cults. It is made of a wickerwork frame, swaddled with textile, and was kept in the house of the chiefs. The Vili, the Lâri, the Sûndi, the Woyo, the Bembé, the Bwende, the Yombé and the Kôngo constituted the Kôngo group, led by the king ntotela. Their kingdom reached its peak in the 16th century with the ivory and copper trade and the slave trade. With the same beliefs and traditions, they produced a statuary with a codified gesture in relation to their vision of the world. The sculptures of the Bwendé were strongly inspired by those of the neighboring ...


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Ashanti doll
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African art > African Dolls > Ashanti doll

Fertility wishes in African art Ashanti.
This stylized female figure, called Akua'ba (plural Akua'mma), has features peculiar to Ashanti dolls, usually devoid of legs: a flat, circular head surmounting a cylindrical bust with horizontal arms. Thin necklaces of colored beads contrast with the dark patina.
These stylized wooden effigies were worn by pregnant women, tightly wrapped in their loincloths, to ensure the arrival of beautiful children. The overwhelming majority of these statues are female, with breasts.

The Ashanti are one of the ethnic groups of Ghana (formerly the "Gold Coast"), part of the Akan group, inhabiting a region covered by forests. Like other populations living in the central and southern part of Ghana, they speak a language of the Twi ...


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Tumbwe Doll
African art > African Dolls > Tumbwe Doll

African tribal art of the Tabwa, prestigious objects.

This stylized figure devoid of limbs is endowed with feminine attributes and a protruding navel, and bears the traditional scarifications. Brown satin patina.
The Tabwa ("scarify" and "write") constitute an ethnic group present in the south-east of the DRC. Simple farmers without centralized power, they federated around tribal chiefs after coming under the influence of the Luba. The tribes of this region, such as the Tumbwe, worship the mipasi ancestors through sculptures held by chiefs or sorcerers. The Tabwa practiced ancestor worship and dedicated some of their statues named mkisi to them. Animists, their beliefs are anchored around the ngulu, spirits of nature present in plants and rocks.


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240.00

Yoruba twins
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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Yoruba twins

These golden-brown sculptures, embodying twins, are accessorized with their "abiku" protective ornaments made of metal, shells and beads. Their characteristics link them to the egba style. Cracks of desiccation. Traces of indigo. In the language of the Yoruba people, ibeji means twin: ibi for born and eji for two. They represent the figure of a deceased twin. This ibedji is then treated as the missing child would have been. It is the mother who must take care of him; she can wash and feed him regularly. If she dies, it is the remaining twin who takes over.
Sometimes a man would also have ibeji carved for his wife to induce pregnancy. Supporting the soul of the twin, the ibeji influences the life of the family, becoming a source of benefit to its parents, who continue to offer ...


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Ashnati doll
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African art > African Dolls > Ashnati doll

Used among the Ashanti and Fantis of Ghana, Akuaba (plural Akua'mma)doll statuettes are amulets used by Ashanti women to promote fertility. They are easily identified by their stylized appearance. Their flat and circular head has a high forehead occupying the upper part, the features are generally drawn in the lower third of the head. A mark of beauty, the often ringed neck also symbolizes prosperity.
Worn on the back of women, these statues are also accompanied by various rites, such as the ingestion of a potion, or the placing of the object on the family altar. After the birth of the child, the sculpture is used as a toy, and sometimes still offered to the healer to witness its effectiveness. Brown satin patina.


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Ashanti Akua ba doll
African art > African Dolls > Ashnati doll

Vows of fertility in African art Ashanti.
Stylized sculpture named Akua'ba (plural Akua'mma) presenting features specific to Ashanti dolls which are generally devoid of legs: flat and circular head surmounting a cylindrical bust with horizontal arms. Thin colored pearl necklaces contrast with the dark patina.
Locally abraded satin black patina.
These stylized wooden effigies were worn by pregnant women, tight in their loincloth, to ensure the arrival of beautiful children. The overwhelming majority of these statues are female, with breasts.

The Ashanti are one of the ethnic groups of Ghana (former "Gold Coast"), part of the Akan group, living in a covered region of forests. Like other populations living in the central and southern part of ...


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180.00

Ashanti Akua  ba doll
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African art > African Dolls > Ashanti doll

Vows of fertility in African Ashanti art. This stylized female figure, called Akua'ba (plural Akua'mma), has features typical of Ashanti dolls, generally without legs: a flat, circular head surmounting a cylindrical bust with horizontal arms. Thin necklaces of colored beads contrast with the glossy mahogany patina. These stylized wooden effigies were worn by pregnant women, tightly wrapped in their loincloths, to ensure the arrival of beautiful children. The overwhelming majority of these statues are female, with breasts.

The Ashanti are one of the ethnic groups of Ghana (formerly the "Gold Coast"), part of the Akan group, inhabiting a region covered by forests. Like other populations living in the central and southern part of Ghana, they speak a language of the Twi ...


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Kikuyu doll
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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Kikuyu doll

Most often erroneously attributed to the Namji, this carved figure, lacking arms and embellished with thousands of beads, comes from the Kikuyu or Agikuyu of southwestern Kenya, a population that intermingled around Mount Kenya with the original Gumbas or agumbas inhabitants. They believe in a creator god whom they name Ngai who is said to reside on Mount Kenya, and to whom they regularly devote prayers and offerings. Best known for their shields, the Kikuyu make extensive use in their carving and traditional costumes of glass beads and cowrie shells, as do many East African tribes. Ritualistic practitioners, mundu mugo , are feared, and perform healing rites with divination gourds mwano loaded with therapeutic elements.


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Kikuyu beaded doll
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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Kikuyu doll

Most often erroneously attributed to the Namji, this carved figure, lacking arms and embellished with thousands of beads, comes from the Kikuyu or Agikuyu of southwestern Kenya, a population that intermingled around Mount Kenya with the original Gumbas or agumbas inhabitants. They believe in a creator god whom they name Ngai who is said to reside on Mount Kenya, and to whom they regularly devote prayers and offerings. Best known for their shields, the Kikuyu make extensive use in their carving and traditional costumes of glass beads and cowrie shells, as do many East African tribes. Ritualistic practitioners, mundu mugo , are feared, and perform healing rites with divination gourds mwano loaded with therapeutic elements.


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