Fertility doll "mwana hiti", Zaramo, Tanzania.
Mwana hiti, a term that means "child made of wood", refers to magical figures that depict a highly stylized female torso with a crested head. The crests represent the shaved head of girls who emerge from initiation camp with "Mohican" ridges of hair. Zaramo female initiates keep such figures during their period of seclusion and coming out ceremonies. After the initiation the girl wears the doll around her neck or holds it in her hand and keeps it as a fertility emblem until she marries and has children of her own.
Wood, matt brown patina, cylindrical trunk with indicated navel and breasts, split crested coiffure, strings of glass beads around hips, eyes with white miniature beads, min. dam., traces of wear and use.
H: 19 cm, H: 7,5 inch.