Namji (Doyayo, Dowayo,
Namchi, Namshi), Cameroon
Fertility doll. The
Namji people of Cameroon create a wide variety of important tribal dolls used by young
girls and older women. Most often they are objects of play for girls who are priming
themselves for motherhood. The figures can be purchased as new from a market or passed
down from mother to child. The carved styles will differ but all will adhere to Namji
traditional custom. The dolls perform one basic function, which is to promote fertility.
When played with and cared for the young girls learn how to tend to a baby. Much like in
other cultures where the children dress the doll up in clothes and carry it around as if
it were real. The dolls are carved from wood
and then usually decorated with various decorative items.
Material: wood, beads, shells,
Size: H. 11, W. 5, D. 3