Namji (Doyayo, Dowayo,
Namchi, Namshi), Cameroon
Fertility doll. Namji are the people inhabiting an area in the west of the north Cameroon.
They are famous for their dolls fabricated with geometric features and adorned with bead
necklaces, sometimes with shells, coins, metal
elements, and other materials. Generally, the dolls held by young Namji women to play and to
ensure their fertility, are considered among the finest and the most beautiful dolls in Africa.
The doll would have a name, be fed, be talked to and be carried strapped
to the back everywhere the child would go. These dolls help prepare the young Namji women
for their role as mothers in their future life.
This very unusual doll was made for some special purpose that is not clear.
Material: wood, beads, shells,
Size: H. 11, W. 5, D. 3