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Doll making is one of the most ancient arts practiced by African communities. The Ndebele tribe are the most well known for this art form. The Zulu women also produce beautiful dolls.

Most of the fertility dolls are covered in beads, but the core remains invisible. The core may be made out of cobs from corn-on-the-cob, clay or even recycled cans and jars.

The Tsonga dolls are dressed in layered cloth skirts similar to those worn by the Tsonga women. All dolls

 generally represent married women wearing traditional forms of dress.


These Ndebele Dolls make beautiful gifts!

Bridal Doll - Product Image

Bridal Doll

This doll is in the traditional dress of an Ndebele bride. The panels of her apron are symbolic of the deposit of five heads of cattle toward the lobola (bride price).
She wears a beaded train (inyoga), which hangs from her shoulders. Her face is covered by a beaded veil called a siyaya.

Size: 15" tall

SKU Number: ND-10

Ceremonial Doll - Product Image

Ceremonial Doll

During courtship, a suitor would place a doll outside a young woman's hut indicating his intention to propose marriage to her.

Size: 10" tall

SKU Number: ND-11

Fertility Doll - Product Image

Fertility Doll

Fertility is of major importance to the Ndebele people. A fertility doll is made (in secret) for the bride by the maternal grandmother and is ritually presented to her when she enters her new hut after the wedding ceremony.
According to custom, after the birth of the third child, the fertility doll must be given away or destroyed because it is considered unlucky to keep it any longer.

Size: 6" tall

SKU Number: ND-12

Initiation Doll - Product Image

Initiation Doll

This doll is made in the traditional dress of a married woman. The style of the apron signifies that she has borne a child within wedlock and symbolizes her status as a parent.

Size: 10" tall

SKU Number: ND-13

Linga Koba Doll - Product Image

Linga Koba Doll

Every four years, hundreds of Ndebele boys spend two winter months in a secret place in the mountains undergoing the wela, their initiation from boyhood to manhood. During this time the mothers of the initiates wear linga kobe, strips of beadwork that stretch from their headdresses to the ground, to show that their sons are away in the mountains.
Linga koba translated means 'long tears'--tears of sadness at losing a boy and tears of joy at gaining a man.

Size: 15" tall

SKU Number: ND-14

Maiden Doll - Product Image

Maiden Doll

The style of the apron on this doll signifies that the girl has undergone her puberty rites and is now of marriageable age.
A beaded black hoop around the waist indicates that she is engaged to be married.

Size: 10" tall

SKU Number: ND-16

Sangoma Doll - Product Image

Sangoma Doll

Among the Nguni people the Sangoma is an important specialist, a diviner who claims contact with ancestral spirits.
It is believed that she receives the will of the spirits. The Sangoma is referred to as the protector of society and her opinion and judgment are highly valued.

Size: 7.5" tall

SKU Number: ND-19

African Huts - Product Image
Click for larger image

African Huts

Huts are usually round or oval in shape and are traditionally made with materials that can be locally found in raw form. Its walls are often constructed from stones. The mortar may consist of sand, soil, or combinations of these, mixed with cow dung or cement.

Size: 12" square

SKU Number: AF-37
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