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African art - Dowayo:

The Dowayo, or Namji, people are animists. They live reclusively in the mountains in the north of Cameroon. Dowayo dolls are among the most famous in African art. Discovered recently, they represent the stylized human body. They are made of wood by blacksmiths. These dolls were originally intended for children. However, they are used during fertility rites. Thus, the sterile woman must treat the doll as her child and then wear it around her neck or on her back. The doll may also be offered by the husband, to represent the future child. These objects are usually beaded and dressed.


Zulu Fertility Statue Doll
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African art > African Dolls > Statue Zulu

Distinguished by its unusual proportions and weight, this Zulu fetish "doll is more like a mediating statue. The blind head is gracefully styled with beaded necklaces with a glass paste pompom evoking the sommital bun hairstyle worn by Zulu women around 1930 (photo taken from the book "Isn't she a doll? Cameron) . A draped scholar composed of an abundance of white pearl necklaces, extended with bouquets of cauris, shape the shoulders and hips of the fetish. A metal corset, bounded by wide skin belts with leather braids and cotton ties, encloses the bust with beads, coins and a copper bell. Leather straps, also equipped with 1910-long British beaded buckles and pennies, form graceful, light arms. Under the net scarf of vegetable fibres enveloping the neck, there is a patinated wax impasto ...


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Dowayo Fertility Dolls
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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Statues Namji

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 ...


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Dowayo Fertility Dolls
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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Namji doll

Trapped in multiple necklaces of glass paste beads, these coupled anthropomorphic figures whose shaggy heads emerge, as haggard, from this colorful swaddling, have small limbs composed of loops in beige beads. Amulet cauris reinforce the fertility vow. An object of modest size, easily transportable, its supposedly active role does not abandon its aesthetic character.
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 ...


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