African art > Headdresses and hats, headdresses > Namchi Headdress
Namchi Ritual Hat, Namji (N° 14444)
Belgian African art collection.
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At the top of this conical basket headdress accompanying the initiation rituals, set on a thick raphia canvas, appears an image, in the eyes of the Namji of Cameroon, of fertility and fertility: a stylized female effigy whose limbs in rectangular volume have digitized hands and feet with different shells. The doll, whose bust is dressed in leather, is awe-down with bracelets and necklaces of glass beads. A proportionally reduced head, with pupils encrusted with white beads, has a suspension ring. 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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|Material(s)||wood, plant fibre, perles , cuir|
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