Project Description

Namji Doll

Namji are the people inhabiting an area in the West of the north Cameroon. The Namji tribe is famous for their wooden dolls carved with geometric features and adorned with multi-colored bead necklaces, cowrie shells, coins, metal strips, fiber and leather.

The dolls held by young Namji girls, to play and to ensure their fertility, are considered among the finest and the most beautiful dolls in Africa. They are carved from solid hardwood. The doll would have a name, be fed, be talked to, and be carried, strapped to the back, everywhere the child would go. The most popular place to carry ones’ doll is strapped to the back the way real infants are toted around. This was the young girls’ first baby. This was her responsibility.  This doll helped prepare the young Namji woman for her role as mother in her future life. Though most of them represent females, they sometimes appear as couples.