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African art - Fali:

The Fali belong to the Kirdi, meaning pagans. They have been nicknamed so by the Islamised African peoples. They occupy the far north of Cameroon, on the border with Nigeria; some are also found in Chad. The Kirdi form a large ethnic group made up of the Kapsiki, the Mofou, the Margui, the Bata, the Toupouri, the Massa, the Matakam, the Do ayo... and the Fali. These peoples live mainly from fishing, breeding and agriculture. They worship the ancestors and attach particular importance to the skulls of the dead. This is where the intelligence and spirit are contained. In addition, fetish dolls were used by young women during initiation rites and also at the time of the first menstruation, signifying fertility. These dolls, dressed and beaded, are made of wood. They represent a pledge of marriage. The woman must carry the doll on her back until the birth of her first child.


Fali Doll
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African art > African Dolls > Fali Doll

Dolls in African art.

It's an engagement fali doll. A particular feature, the body is wide and is surmounted by two heads.
The whole piece is covered with beads of various colors and shapes. The small arms are made up of cauris while the heads wear cord hair.
This type of fetish African doll was carried like a child, behind the back of the young woman. The statuette is a guarantee of marriage and hope to start a family. The size and weight of the doll reinforce the bride's commitment.
The Fali are a people settled in northern Cameroon especially on the hills at the foot of Mount Tinguelin. They are also found in Nigeria and Chad.


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Fali doll
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Fali doll

Belgian African art collection.
This African fertility doll, exceptional in its size and adornments, symbolizes the vows of marriage and the child that will be born from this union. It is the fiancé who realizes it and decorates it with multiple quolifichets before offering it to the young woman. A wooden soul is established on a quadrangular base, wrapped in a fabric and draped with thousands of pearl necklaces of various sizes and colors, round and tubular, associated with brass rings, parts, horns, leather, cotton cloth knots, cauris and raffia braids. A coconut bark hat was made for him, crowning the whole thing. The Kirdi , or "païens", as the Islamized peoples have named them, are established in the extreme north of Cameroon, on the border of Nigeria.They include the Matakam, ...


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