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Fali Fertility Doll

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Item 435
3.00 LBS
Free Shipping
Maximum Purchase:
1 unit(s)

Product Description


The Fali people are a small ethnic group concentrated in mountainous areas of northern Cameroon, but some also live in northeastern Nigeria where they are known as the Bana. The term Fali is from a Fula word meaning "perched," a reference to how Fali compounds appear on the sides of mountains. Dolls have been associated with man since ancient times and have been found in archaeological sites throughout the world. In some cultures they were used as toys however their primary use has always been connected to the rituals of burial, fertility, initiation and marriage. In Africa dolls are made in various shapes, in a wide variety of materials for specific reasons. Dolls used in conjunction with magical practice for the sole purpose of gracing a woman with fertility are referred to as fertility dolls. The purpose again is generally the same but the actual design and accompanied paraphernalia varies from country to country. One of the most uniquely styled dolls hales from the country of Cameroon. When a young Fali man becomes betrothed, he makes a doll from iron, leather and fiber. He starts by constructing a small metal body frame complete with arms, legs and head. Wood may be placed for shaping the torso which is then wrapped or bound with leather strips and heavy fiber twining. He then gives it to his fiancee who wears it in a baby carrier on her back. The doll is a symbol of their marriage commitment and represents their future child. The young woman cares for the figure until the promised child is born after which the couple carefully stores the doll away. The doll is self standing though its stance is visibly more in a sitting position; with its rounded bottom providing balance along with the two protruding legs and arms. The Fali doll serves as another tangible visual indicator of the differences of tribal works between Africans even though their societal ideologies are basically the same. Last but never least it also represents the magnitude of the creative imaginations of the African people.

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Dimensions: 6 inches tall x 4 inches deep x 4 inches across. 

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