African art > Statues > Statues Namji

Dowayo Fertility Dolls (N° 14068)

Trapped in multiple necklaces of glass paste beads giving them a ventru-like appearance, these coupled anthropomorphic figures whose shaggy heads emerge, as haggardly, from this colorful swaddling, have small limbs composed of loops in Beads. A cauri in amulets reinforces the fertility wish. An object of modest size, easily transportable, its supposedly active role does not abandon its aesthetic character.
Wooden base or plexiglass extra.
Ethnie of northern Cameroon composed of animist mountaineers, the Dowayo , " Namji ", " Namchi ", use anthropomorphic figures, dolls, as part of fertility rituals. The women carried with them these dolls donated by their husbands in the hope of becoming mothers. The use of dolls by young African women is not done exclusively within the initiation context. When menstruation occurs, the girl is considered a potential mother. In many ethnic groups, the search for fertility is then done through rituals. Wooden figures will then be carved, some reflecting both genres, in many cases covered with pearls and clothing. During the period of confinement, the doll, which becomes a child who asks to be fed, washed and anointed on a daily basis, becomes the girl's only companion. After initiation, they will be carried behind the women's backs, or tied to their necks.  

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OriginCollection J. Putteneers
Material(s)wood, perles, cauri
Weight0.18 Kg
Estimated datingmid xxe

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