Antique Namji Figures
African Tribal Art Namji Doll Cameroon Material: wood, beads, etc Size: approx 29"cm Height, 10"cm Width. This is one of a pair of genuine old Namji dolls. These unique dolls were made for girls of the Namji (or Demji) tribe in north-west Cameroon. They served multiple functions. At the simplest level, they were playthings, as dolls are for children of all cultures. Heavily decorated with beads and cowries, they were also protective fetishes or charms, which defended girls against witchcraft. Namji girls also learned mothering skills with these dolls. They were carried like real babies on the girls' backs and nurtured in imitation of motherhood. They would be carried until marriage and pregnancy, their protective powers extending to the unborn child. In time, the mother might give her doll to her own child. Namji dolls may thus have had more than one owner and be a generation or more old. Many reproductions are circulated.