African art > African Dolls > Namji doll
Doll Namji, Namchi, Dowayo (N° 19188)
It is only quite recently that the dolls of the Namji, people of animist mountain people living in the north of Cameroon, were known. These effigies represent the human body in elementary stylized forms. This sculpture of craft presents a head wearing a hat, a long neck gradually widening towards a rounded bust, all decorated with a multitude of glass beads.
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Used for the play of little girls, these dolls are mostly used by infertile women in complex fertility rituals, the doll becoming a surrogate child, which they will treat as such. The decoration of the doll generally reproduces the attire of the new initiates after their period of seclusion.
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