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African art - African Dolls:

Many contemporary commentaries claim that dolls and puppets were introduced to the African continent by the Catholic missions for didactic purposes. However, it is clear that the ancestral tradition of puppet show existed long before the arrival of the missions. African puppets are predominantly used in men's shows, while dolls are used by girls and women.


Ashanti doll
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African art > African Dolls > Ashanti doll

Used among the Ashanti and Fantis of Ghana, African doll statuettes Akuaba (plural Akua'mma) are amulets used by women Ashanti to promote fertility. Usually stylized, this model is an exception. Only the flat and circular head remains a constant. A mark of beauty, the often ringed neck also symbolizes prosperity.
Light brown patina.
Carried on the backs of women, these statues are also accompanied by various rites, such as the ingestion of a potion, or the placing of the object on the family altar. After the birth of the child, the sculpture is used as a toy, and sometimes still offered to the healer in order to witness its effectiveness.


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Nyamwezi figure
African art > African Dolls > Nyamwezi figure

The body belted with cords, textile, decorated with beads and inlaid with cowries, this statuette of fertility or simply doll comes from the interior region of Tanzania. Satin patina, missing foot. In the southern coastal region of Tanzania, around Dar-es-Salam, a relatively homogeneous group produced most of the artistic output. It includes the Swahili, Kaguru, Doé, Kwéré, Luguru, Zaramo, Kami. The second region is formed by a territory covering the south of Tanzania to Mozambique, where some Makonde and Yao, Ngindo, Mwéra, and Makua live. In northeastern Tanzania, the Chaga, Paré, Chamba, Zigua, Maasai, Iraqw, Gogo, and Héhé have an artistic production with similarities to Malagasy and Batak art, which could be explained by trade by sea. The Luo, Kuria, Haya and Ziba, the ...


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140.00

Zulu doll
African art > African Dolls > Zulu doll

Contemporary artists from South Africa create dolls filled with a multitude of glass beads. Touching and decorative, these works also alternate various metal elements and shells, distinguishing the skill and creative sense of their designers. The pearls here are an iridescent dark blue.
During the 19th century, tribes united to form the group called Zulu, whose local chiefs, led by the king, are called iduma. Their society is that of warriors organized into age groups. It was in 1884 that they were annexed by the English. Skilled in making ornaments, the Zulus work with leather, metal and ceramics, adding feathers and beads. Pearls, while having a protective role, indicate the social situation of those who wear them.


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120.00

Bwende head
African art > Puppets, dolls > Bwende head

This childlike puppet-like head forms a reduction of the famous niombo , a funerary anthropomorphic "package", sometimes of giant size, representing the deceased among the Bwende. The niombo was buried at funerals during ancestor cults. It is made of a wickerwork frame, swaddled with textile, and was kept in the house of the chiefs. The Vili, the Lâri, the Sûndi, the Woyo, the Bembé, the Bwende, the Yombé and the Kôngo constituted the Kôngo group, led by the king ntotela. Their kingdom reached its peak in the 16th century with the ivory and copper trade and the slave trade. With the same beliefs and traditions, they produced a statuary with a codified gesture in relation to their vision of the world. The sculptures of the Bwendé were strongly inspired by those of the neighboring ...


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65.00

Ibeji dolls
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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Ibeji dolls

Ibeji statuettes, embodiment of the missing child in Yoruba African art.
Wide almond-shaped eyes, deep scarification on the faces, braids combined into a crest and identical physiognomies that illustrate the aesthetic traditions in Yoruba African art. Solidly encamped on circular supports, these twins wear pearl and cowrie shell ornaments and large metal rings, these elements being associated with the sacred. Chocolate patina, matte inlays.
In the language of the people Yoruba , ibeji means twin: ibi for born and eji for two. They represent the figure of a deceased twin. These African statuettes named ibeji are then treated as the missing child would have been. It is the mother who must take care of them; she can wash and feed them regularly. If she dies, the ...


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Zulu Doll
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African art > African Dolls > Zulu Doll

Contemporary artists from South Africa create dolls filled with a multitude of glass beads. Touching and decorative, these works also alternate various metal elements and shells, distinguishing the skill and creative sense of their designers. The pearls here are an iridescent dark blue.
During the 19th century, tribes united to form the group called Zulu, whose local chiefs, led by the king, are called iduma. Their society is that of warriors organized into age groups. It was in 1884 that they were annexed by the English. Skilled in making ornaments, the Zulus work with leather, metal and ceramics, adding feathers and beads. Pearls, while having a protective role, indicate the social situation of those who wear them.


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Mossi doll
African art > African Dolls > Mossi doll

Fertility doll-statue, the appearance of the head of which varies according to the region, representing a spirit with which a relationship is established. The columnar body bears sagging breasts. The angular head evokes the female hairstyle in crest, the incised motifs, the scarifications and the braids of the ethnic group.
Abraded polychrome patina. Erosions and cracks.

Among many ethnic groups, initiation rites accompany the desire for a child. Wooden figures are then carved, some reflecting both genders, in many cases clothed in beads and clothes. 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 the initiation, they will be carried on the women's ...


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490.00

Yoruba figures
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Yoruba figures

These sculptures of golden beige hue, embodying twins, are accessorized with their "abiku" protective ornaments made of metal, shells and beads. Their characteristics link them to the egba style. Desiccation cracks.
In the language of the Yoruba people, ibeji means twin: ibi for born and eji for two. They represent the figure of a deceased twin. This ibedji is then treated as the missing child would have been. It is the mother who has to take care of him; she can wash and feed him regularly. If she dies, the remaining twin takes over.
Sometimes a man would also have ibeji carved for his wife to induce pregnancy. As a carrier of the twin's soul, the ibeji influences the life of the family, becoming a source of benefit to his parents, who continue to offer prayers and ...


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150.00

Zulu dolls
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African art > African Dolls > Zulu dolls

Contemporary artists from South Africa create dolls filled with a multitude of glass beads. Touching and decorative, these works also alternate various metal elements and shells, highlighting the skill and creative sense of their designers. Slightly damaged cowries on the headdress of the largest. During the 19th century, tribes united to form the group called Zulu, whose local chiefs, led by the king, are called iduma. Their society is that of warriors organized into age groups. It was in 1884 that they were annexed by the English. Pearls, while having a protective role, indicate the social situation of those who wear them. Skilled in making ornaments, the Zulus work with leather, metal and ceramics, adding feathers and beads. Pearls, while having a protective role, indicate ...


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Ibeji figure
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African art > African Dolls > Ibeji figure

Elegantly coiffed, this male statuette has a thick metallic torque, and a loincloth composed of strings of cowries and beads, the protective "abiku". She wears jugal and body scarifications. Smooth mahogany patina. Carved according to the indications of the Ifa transmitted to the diviner, the babalawo, the Ibedji statuettes played the role of substitute for the death of the child. The statues are then treated as the missing child would have been. It is the mother who must take care of them; she anoints them with oil and feeds them regularly. If she disappears, the remaining twin takes over.
Considered as more than a physical representation of a loved one, linked to the cult of Shango, the ibedji statues are believed to influence the life and prosperity of the family, and the ...


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beaded doll
African art > African Dolls > beaded doll

Contemporary artists from South Africa create dolls filled with a multitude of glass beads. Touching and decorative, these works also alternate various metal elements and shells, highlighting the skill and creative sense of their designers.

During the 19th century, tribes united to form the group called Zulu, whose local chiefs, led by the king, are called iduma. Their society is that of warriors organized into age groups. It was in 1884 that they were annexed by the English. Skilled in making ornaments, the Zulus work with leather, metal and ceramics, adding feathers and beads. Pearls, while having a protective role, indicate the social situation of those who wear them.


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180.00

Tabwa figure
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African art > African Dolls > Tabwa figure

The African tribal art of the Tabwa, prestigious objects.

Used by the female initiation society, these tubular female figures like the dolls in the group form protective charms.
Golden brown patina.
The Tabwa ("scarify" and "write") constitute an ethnic group present in the south-east of the DRC. Simple farmers without centralized power, they federated around tribal chiefs after coming under the influence of the Luba. It was mainly during this period that their artistic current was expressed mainly through statues but also masks. The Tabwa practiced ancestor worship and dedicated some of their statues named mkisi to them. Animists, their beliefs are anchored around the ngulu, spirits of nature present in plants and rocks. The Luba dominated the Tabwa in the region ...


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Ashanti doll
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African art > African Dolls > Ashanti doll

Used among the Ashanti and the Fantis of Ghana, the Akuaba (plural Akua'mma) doll statuettes are amulets used by Ashanti women to promote fertility. Most of the time with a stylized appearance, this specimen has a flat and circular head surmounting a more naturalistic morphology. A mark of beauty, the often ringed neck also symbolizes prosperity.
Carried on the backs of women, these statues are also accompanied by various rites, such as the ingestion of a potion, or the placing of the object on the family altar. After the birth of the child, the sculpture is used as a toy, and sometimes still offered to the healer in order to witness its effectiveness. Locally abraded glossy black patina.


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Kwéré doll
African art > African Dolls > Kwéré doll

The Zaramo and the tribes around them, Kwéré, Doé, designed barely distinguishable dolls generally associated with fertility, but to which other virtues would be attributed. Their first role is played during the period of confinement of the young initiate Zaramo. The novice will behave towards the object as with a child, and will dance with it during the closing ceremonies of the initiation. In case the young woman does not conceive, she will adopt the "child". Among the Zaramo, this carved motif is repeated on the top of canes, decorates ritual objects and even appears on burial posts. The form is recurrent, a stylized head, topped with a double or single crest surmounting a tubular bust devoid of arms where the breasts and the umbilicus are indicated by a slight relief. The use of ...


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180.00

Mwana hiti doll
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African art > African Dolls > Mwana hiti doll

The Zaramo and the tribes that surround them, such as the Kwere and the Doé, have designed dolls that are generally associated with fertility, but to which other virtues are attributed. Its primary role is played during the period of seclusion of the young Zaramo initiate. The novice will behave towards the object as she would towards a child, and will dance with it during the closing ceremonies of the initiation. In the event that the young woman does not conceive, she will adopt the "child. Among the Zaramo, this carved motif is repeated at the top of canes, decorates ritual objects and even appears on burial posts. The form is recurrent, a stylized head, topped with a double or single crest surmounting a tubular bust without arms on which a slight relief indicates the breasts and ...


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Ewe figure
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Ewe figure

Ex-Belgian African art collection.
An evocation of the missing twin, thisfemale statuette has a light patina on which faint colored residues remain. Cracked base.

The Ewe, often confused with the Minas, are the largest ethnic group in Togo. They are also found as minorities in Ghana, Benin, Côte d'Ivoire and Nigeria. Although we have little historical information about them, it seems that their establishment in their current location results from invasions and conflicts that broke out during the 17th century. The Ewe regard the birth of twins called Venavi (or Venovi) as a happy omen. The latter must be treated identically and fairly. For example, both will be fed and washed at the same time and will wear the same clothes until puberty.
If one of the two twins dies, ...


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240.00

Namji doll
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African art > African Dolls > Namji doll

African art fertility dolls.
Forming a flat triangle, this doll gradually widens towards the base, resting on the geometric blocks representing the feet. Proportionally reduced, a head with summary features is embellished with a high crested hairstyle. Inlays of numerous colored glass beads.
Abraded satin patina.
It is only fairly recently that the dolls of the Namji or Dowayo, a people of mountain animists living in northern Cameroon, have been known. These effigies represent the human body in stylized elementary forms. 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 ...


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Ewe fetish statuette
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African art > The fetish, this emblematic object of primitive art > Ewe Fetish

African art and tribal cult vodun of the ewe and fon
Affubé populations of various amulets in the form of jewelry, horns filled with substances mixed with red clay, metal accessories, dried seeds, and reptile skin belt, this realistic statuette was ritually coating with a thick powder coating peeling locally. The pupils are made up of red beads, and one of the feet is altered. Desication cracks, furrows.
In Togo, African fetishes are part of beneficial or evil rituals according to the intentions of their owner. The fetishists, following the divination ritual of the fa using palm nuts, make them to order to offer protective and medicinal virtues but also offer more conventional ready-to-use versions.
These practices are still in use today are sometimes decried and ...


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Yoruba figure
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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Yoruba figure

Pearl and torque necklaces constitute the "abiku", protective adornments of this "era" (statues) of twins. The crest hairstyle here is enhanced with indigo. In the language of the Yoruba people, ibeji means twin: ibi for born and eji for two< /i>. They represent the figure of a deceased twin. This ibedji is then treated as the missing child would have been. It is the mother who must take care of him; she can wash and feed him regularly. If she dies, the remaining twin takes over. It also happened that a man had ibeji carved for his wife in order to induce pregnancy. Support for the soul of the twin, the ibeji influences the life of the family, becoming a source of benefits for his parents, the latter continuing to send him prayers and to devote worship and libations to him.
A ...


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Ibeji Yoruba
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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Ibeji Yoruba

Ibeji statuettes, incarnation of the missing child in African Yoruba art.
Large almond-shaped eyes, notched scarifications on the face, braids collected in a crest generally illustrate the aesthetic traditions of African Yoruba art. This female effigy wears necklaces of pearls and cowries and a wooden torque. These adornments had a protective function. Shiny patina, indigo highlights.
In the language of the Yoruba people, ibeji means twin: ibi for born and eji for two. They represent the figure of a deceased twin. These African statuettes named ibeji are then treated as the missing child would have been. It is the mother who must take care of them; she can wash and feed them regularly. If she dies, the remaining twin takes over. Considered as much more than a physical ...


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Baoule figure
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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Baoule figure

Western influences in African artbaoulé .
Commonly called "colon" but sometimes however embodying a type of "ideal spouse" according to individual criteria, this male figure, coated with a softened polychrome patina, is depicted in Western garb(African Art Western Eyes, Baule", Vogel, p.253 to 257). Two types of statues are produced by the Baule in the ritual context: Waka-Sona statues, "being of wood" in Baule, evoke an assié oussou, being of the earth. They are part of a type of statues intended to be used as a medium tool by the diviners komien, the latter being selected by the spirits asye usu in order to communicate revelations from the beyond. The second type of statues, made according to the indications of the diviner, are the spouses of the afterlife, male, the Blolo bian ...


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