The Turkana are nomadic cattle herders whose territory adjoins that of the Maasai. These dolls are made from three lobed palm nuts, which are generally interpreted as being phallic symbols � the three lobes representing the male genitalia. They are then transformed into female symbols by winding them with strings of beads to represent an abstract torso, and dressed with a small girl�s cache sexe of strings of beads, or a version of an adult woman�s Vee-shaped hide apron, edged with beads. This particular doll wears a bead fringe which can be taken on or off.
The name of these dolls in Turkana is Ikoko, which means �child�. The Ikoko is made by the little girl�s mother, and used by the child as a toy, or worn around the neck as a protective charm. They are kept and carried throughout childhood, and when the girl reaches marriageable age, their role becomes that of a fertility charm rather than a toy. After the first child is born, the doll is no longer carried, and may be kept as a memento of girlhood, or handed down to a daughter. Size: 7.5 x 10 cm / 3 x 4 inches. Eac h of the three lobes is around 3cm cm .1 1/4 inch in diameter, d