Beaded Namji dolls originated from Cameroon and are made by blacksmiths from the Namji tribe. The Namji people inhabit West of North Cameroon. The Namji tribe is famous for their wooden dolls carved with geometric features adorned with multi-colored bead necklaces, cowrie shells, metal strips and fiber; stand on a wood base.
Namji dolls are striking to look at they also have an interesting history. The dolls are held by young Namji girls to play and ensure their fertility. The doll would have a name and be carried strapped to the back everywhere the child would go. This was the young girl’s first baby. The Namji doll helped prepare the young Namji woman for her role as mother in her future life. The Namji dolls are considered among the finest and most beautiful dolls in Africa. They are carved from solid pine hardwood. The Namji dolls are originally unadorned and used as play things for young girls. Upon reaching puberty, the doll becomes a fertility doll and is dressed in cowrie shells, colorful beads coins and other trinkets and are cared for as a real child.
Each Namji Doll is an “original” work of art, individually handmade making them unique and a one of a kind piece. No two are exactly alike which adds to the value of each Beaded Namji Doll. Please note, each piece of a specific style is similar, but not identical. Our website photos are a close representation of this work, but may not be identical to the piece you receive.
Family of 9 Black and White Namji dolls measuring 8" Tall to 25" Tall