Fali Fertility Doll – HAM PILU – Northern Cameroon
Carved wood, multiple layers of trade glass beads, cowrie shells. Cm. 25,0 high (9.84″); grams 148,2 (5.23 oz.).
In Cameroon, when a young Fali man becomes betrothed, he makes a doll (ham pilu) from wood and decorates it with hair, beads, and other small amulets. He then gives it to his fiancée, who wears it in a baby carrier on her back. The doll is a symbol of their marriage commitment and represents their future child. The man gives the doll the gender that he desires for his first-born. The young woman cares for the figure until the promised child is born.
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