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Namjii Dolls: African Art Never Disappoints

Africa is a continent of contradictions – of harshness and incredible beauty!

African Art, is one aspect of the talent and beauty prevalent on the continent. Varying from North to South, and from East to West, each tribe has its own culture and history which is captured and conveyed through the craftsmen and artists of the tribe.

The Namjii Doll, originating from the Dowayo/Namjii tribe of North-West Cameroon is one such item. This item displays as a striking piece of artwork in a modern interior. Created from wood in different sizes and decorated in bold coloured beads and cowrie shells, the beauty of the geometric shaped dolls is striking.

Young girls of the tribe are given the dolls to play with and to learn about motherhood, copying their mothers in strapping the babies to their backs and taking responsibility for their dolls. The cultural significance goes beyond this and young women are given the dolls to encourage fertility. The women of the tribe believe they bring good luck when a woman is trying to conceive. They also believe that the presence of the doll helps with an easy birth.

Whether an everyday item or a piece of ancient history, each piece has its place in the day-to-day living and/or the tribe’s traditional festivals.


21 on Montagu 2018 ©

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