African art > Dolls > Statue Namji

Namji Fertility Doll, Namchi (N° 14405)

Fertility dolls of African art
This ancient copy offers a stylized anthropomorphic evocation whose rectangular limbs feature rough circular hands and feet. Glass beaded bracelets and necklaces highlight the shapes of the object swaddled in textiles. A proportionally reduced head, with exorbitant round pupils, emerges from the set. The crest hairstyle is pierced with a tether opening. Small talismans, in the form of shells, leather bags, calabash fragments, are joined to the adornments embellishing the doll. The sides of the face are notched indicating the traditional scarifications of the ethnic group. Abraded-use skate. It is only recently that the dolls of the Namji or Dowayo , an animist mountain people living in northern Cameroon, have only recently been known. These effigies represent the human body in stylized elementary forms. These African tribal dolls are carved in wood by the blacksmith, at first for the game of little girls. But these dolls are mostly used by sterile women in complex fertility rituals, the doll becoming a surrogate child that they will treat as such. In some cases the fiancé offered it to his future wife, the doll representing their future offspring. The decoration of the doll can also reproduce the clothes of the news initiated after their period of confinement.  

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This item is sold with its certificate of authenticity

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Origincollection Putteneers
Material(s)wood, perles de vere, coquillages, cuir
Weight0.10 Kg
Estimated datingcirca 1930

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