Doll - ROM2004_946_14



Maker: Ndebele
Medium:Handmade of cloth core covered with beaded hoops, from neck to foot
Geography: South Africa
Date: mid-late 20th century
28 × 12.5 cm
Object number: 999.19.6
Not on view
DescriptionAmong the Ndebele, girls play with dolls that they either make themselves or receive from older female relatives. Playing with dolls is considered a foreshadowing a girl’s ability as a mother. At a later age, dolls acquire a more direct role as an instrument to enhance fertility. Ndebele dolls have developed stylistically in the last five decades and are becoming more and more realistic in their stylized representation of the human body. This doll is representative of an earlier style. It effectively portrays a young woman identified by the apron style, hairdo and beaded ornaments. Alongside their local uses, dolls are today a major export item and source of money for Ndebele women.
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