S3M8O055R.jpg (13084 bytes)S3M8O055S.jpg (14977 bytes)S3M8O055.jpg (13119 bytes)Mossi (Mole, Moose, Mosi), Burkina Faso

Biiga fertility doll. The 2.2 million Mossi represent a third of the population of Burkina Faso, or the “land of upright and honest people.” The blacksmiths-sculptors formed a separate caste and lived in separate quarters; they married exclusively within the caste. The function of the biiga goes well beyond game-playing. As an educational toy, the biiga was dressed, washed, and carried on the back or placed on the ground under the mother’s eyes. The function of the biiga becomes more serious as a girl attains womanhood. It is hoped that the doll will encourage an early pregnancy and a vigorous baby. After a successful birth, the doll is kept for the female child. The biiga has a complex symbolism that, at first glance, seems contradictory; for the little girl it is, at one and the same time, the power that will cause her to have a child and the baby she is learning to care of. According to J. - B. Bacquart, such dolls were given to newly circumcised girls.

Material wood

Size:   H. 13 ”, W. 2”, D. 3”