Tribal art > African Statues > Namchi doll
Namchi doll (N° 20541)
The dolls of the Namji or Dowayo, a people of animist mountain dwellers living in northern Cameroon, represent the human body in stylized elemental forms.
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Rectilinear attitude for this figure established on wide feet braced together. Necklaces of pearls make up mobile filiform arms.
A cowrie shell, in the center of a circular form underlined by red textile, indicates the umbilicus. The flat face, oriented towards the sky, surmounts a stretched neck. Dotted scarification marks run along the bust.
These African tribal dolls are carved out of wood by the blacksmith, initially for little girls to play with. But these dolls are mainly used by sterile women in complex fertility rituals, the doll becoming a substitute child that they will treat as such. In some cases the fiancé would offer it to his future wife, the doll representing their future offspring. The decoration of the doll can also reproduce the attire of the new initiates after their period of reclusion.
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|Origin||Collection Pr J. Putteneers|
|Material(s)||wood, perles, cauris|
|Estimated dating||mid-xx° - acquise en 1970|
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