African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Kikuyu doll
Kikuyu, Agikuyu doll (N° 21549)
Most often erroneously attributed to the Namji, this carved figure, lacking arms and embellished with thousands of beads, comes from the Kikuyu or Agikuyu of southwestern Kenya, a population that intermingled around Mount Kenya with the original Gumbas or agumbas inhabitants. They believe in a creator god whom they name Ngai who is said to reside on Mount Kenya, and to whom they regularly devote prayers and offerings. Best known for their shields, the Kikuyu make extensive use in their carving and traditional costumes of glass beads and cowrie shells, as do many East African tribes.
Ritualistic practitioners, mundu mugo , are feared, and perform healing rites with divination gourds mwano loaded with therapeutic elements.
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