Tribal art > African fetish > Biga doll
Mossi Biga fertility charm (N° 19991)
Anthropomorphic figure in bronze evoking a young Mossi woman. A ritual statuette supposed to help in conception, it was made in metal by the Mossi blacksmith, who was also in charge of the carved wooden examples.
The use of dolls by young African women is not exclusively within the context of initiation. When menstruation appears, the young girl is considered as a potential mother. In many ethnic groups, the search for fertility is then done through initiation rites. Wooden figures are then carved, some reflecting both genders, often dressed in beads and clothes. During the period of seclusion, the doll, which becomes a child that requires daily feeding, washing and anointing, becomes the girl's only companion. After the initiation, they will be carried on the back of the women, or tied to their necks.
Wooden dolls (biiga ), carved in their spare time by the blacksmiths of Burkina Faso,are offered to girls, as well as boys, by their parents. The Mossi who are better off, on the other hand, buy plastic dolls. In the event that the girl does not give birth, a larger doll is carved to treat her as a real newborn. The doll will not be abandoned after the birth of the child, the mother will continue to take care of it. If the birth did not take place, the doll will be offered as an educational toy to a child (Elisabeth L. Cameron).
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|Origin||Collection Patrick Malisse|
|Estimated dating||1ère halfxx°|
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