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  • Item Category: Ethnic, Folk & Native American Art
  • Source: eBay
  • Sold Date: Apr 19, 2014
  • Channel: Auction House


11 inches tall

The Ndebele in Zimbabwe are widely recognized for their artistry and deep love of beauty and color made evident in their extraordinary homes and clothing. The dolls by the Ndebele are dressed similar to the women of this tribe in colorful outfits, adorned with intricate patterns of bead work.

The Ndebele dolls are crafted to symbolize the women's status or certain important events that are happening in their lives. Dolls having colorful apron-like garments wrapped around their waists represent Ndebele girls that have already gone through puberty rites and are marriageable. In preparation for marriage, these young women are handed dolls that are to be named and cared for as though they were real children. When the first born comes, the baby will be named after the doll.

Courtships within the Ndebele tribe are initiated by the suitor who puts a doll outside the hut of the maiden he desires. The doll serves as an icon of the purest intentions of the man to propose marriage.

These dolls are not intended as toys.

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