African art > African Dolls > Zulu doll

Zulu doll (N° 22769)

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. These fetishes of protection intended for dwellings are among the most prized in Africa. The Nkisi plays the role of mediator between gods and men. The large figures are the collective property of an entire village, while the smaller figures belong to an individual or a family. In the sixteenth century, the Songyes migrated from the Shaba region to settle on the left bank of the Lualaba River. Their society is organized in a patriarchal way. Their history is inseparable from that of the Luba to whom they are related through common ancestors.
Litt. "Africa, the Art of a Continent" Prestel (p.244)  

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OriginEx-collection française
EthnyZulu
CountryAfrique du Sud
Material(s)wood, perles, cauris, metal
Height cm33
Width10 cm
Weight0.55 Kg
Estimated datingcontemporaine

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