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Beaded Doll (Ham Pilu)

Beaded doll (ham pilu)

Fali People
Cameroon
Doll (ham pilu)
20th Century
Wood, beads, hair, leather
Anonymous gift
2006.2.6

Fali dolls may be made by young boys and given to girls, but more often they are presented by a young man to his fiancée. The dolls are made of corncobs or wood, and are usually adorned with glass beads, iron rings and cowries. The red beads embedded in the long hair recall a red-coating applied to women’s hair for religious rites. After the fiancée receives the doll, she cares for it, carrying it on her back or hip just as she would her firstborn, to signify her commitment to her fiancé and the child they hope to have together.

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