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1950s Beaded fertility doll,Turkana people, Kenya (NAX)

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

Price: 450.00 AUD
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