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Fertility Doll Set

  • Fertility Doll Set
  • Zaramo "Mwana Hiti" Doll
  • Zaramo "Mwana Hiti" Doll
  • Tabwa Doll
  • Tabwa Doll
  • Luba Fertility Altar Doll
  • Luba Fertility Altar Doll
  • Luba Fertility Altar Doll
  • Fertility Doll Set: Back view
Item 987
6.00 LBS
Maximum Purchase:
1 unit(s)

Product Description

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. Dolls used in conjunction with magical practice for the sole purpose of gracing a woman with fertility are referred to as fertility dolls. In Africa no fertility doll is as famous as the Ashanti doll but other ethnic groups have them as part of their culture as well. Presented here are three well carved wooden dolls from the Zaramo, Tabwa and Luba people. This selection comes with a beautiful custom made wooden base.


Left: Zaramo "Mwana Hiti" Doll: 

Mwana hiti, means "child made of wood". The figures are commonly referred to as "dolls" but they are anything but dolls as they play significant roles in the spiritual lives of a wide range of people in Tanzania. They are almost exclusively used by female initiates during seclusion and coming out ceremonies. Smaller ones are often worn as amulets by women wishing to enhance their fertility. They are worn on the back to encourage the birth of a child. This selection has been used but is in very good condition and is complete with a small white beaded necklace.

Dimensions: 7 inches tall x 2 1/2 inches wide.


Center: Tabwa Doll:

Dolls like this were found all over the Tabwa region and among their neighbors such as the Nyamwezi and Zaramo. The Tabwa are a tiny tribe in the Upper River Region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, formerly Zaire. Tabwa art has only recently come to be identified as a separate style often confused with the sculpture of their neighbors. Figures of this type are used in the ritual of fertility. They were said to have the power to insure the fertility of young girls after their marriage. The distinctive facial scarification consisting of a number of lines along the sides of the face and along the forehead and abdomen were the means whereby Tabwa identified themselves to localities and social status. Elaborate and attractive patterns and designs are worked into the skin according to the Tabwa concept of ‘kulemba’ that reflect aesthetics, social membership and the abstract idea of order upon the chaos of nature. It demonstrates that a person becomes a complete adult when they are properly inscribed with the appropriate scars.

Dimensions: 6 3/4 inches tall x 1 1/2 inches across.


Right: Luba Fertility Altar Doll:

Boys and men do not “play” with dolls but married men can pay homage and tribute to fertility figures in hopes of having their wife bear healthy children. The above wooden figure is topped by the face of the legendary Luba male ancestor. The body and form is that of the Luba fertility doll. Beads, feathering and other organic matter are offered to this figure and placed on the cavity on top by the male villager. This object is placed on an alter in the private quarters of the couple wishing for children. This selection is not often available for they are either commissioned or bought up quickly!

Dimensions: 7 1/2 inches tall x 2 1/2 inches wide.


Please click photo for enlargement!


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