African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Dowayo Statue

Dowayo Statue (N° 23769)

The dolls of the Namji or Dowayo , people of mountain animists living in the north of Cameroon, have recently been known. These effigies represent the human body in stylized elementary forms. The umbilicus of the tubular bust is here encrusted with a cowrie in the center of a cup underlined with a red cotton cord. As an extension of a stretched neck, the inclined face, flat and circular, bears scarifications, like the bust. Small arms are made of beads and cowries.
Cracked grainy patina.
These African tribal dolls are carved in wood by the blacksmith, initially for the play of little girls. But these dolls are mainly used by sterile women in complex fertility rituals, the doll becoming a surrogate child that they will treat as such. In some cases the groom offered it to his future wife, the doll representing their future offspring. The decoration of the doll can also reproduce the finery of the new initiates after their period of confinement.  

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OriginEx-collection française
EthnyNamji
Countrycameroun
Material(s)wood, perles, textile, cauris
Height cm46
Width12 cm
Weight0.60 Kg
Estimated datingcirca 1960

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