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

Doll Namji, Namchi, Dowayo (N° 19880)

It is only quite recently that the dolls of the Namji, a people of animist mountain dwellers living in the north of Cameroon, have been known. These effigies represent the human body in stylized elemental forms. This handicraft sculpture presents a head covered with a hat, a long neck gradually flaring out towards a rounded bust, the whole decorated with a multitude of glass beads. Used for the play of little girls, these dolls are mostly used by sterile women in complex fertility rituals, the doll becoming a substitute 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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Originex-collection française
EthnyDowayo
Countrycameroun
Material(s)wood, perles, cauris, metal
Height41
Width13
Weight1.25 Kg
Estimated dating2ème halfxx°

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