Mossi Fertility Doll - SOLD OUT

This female statuette of abstract design is called Biga, which means "child", in moré. The sculptor favors certain parts of the female body, which are strongly stylized. The head is carried by a long neck, the face is schematized, the essential part of the sculpture is the hairstyle, it testifies to the status of women. the shape of the body is cylindrical, the breasts are pointed and elongated. Their elongation beyond natural recalls the usual practice of breast massage to promote lactation. The abdomen, receptacle of life and the Sigha, parcel of the immortal substance held by the ancestors which one translates by "soul", is represented there by scarifications in reliefs, this statue decorated with scarifications characterizes the women having already had a child. The absence of arms and legs is a stylistic classic among the Biga.

The role that the Biga play in Mossi society is when a daughter obtains, from her father or mother, a Biga during her childhood, once she is married, she takes it to her husband's home to become a mother. A sterile wife can also acquire this fertility statuette, which can bring her the desired pregnancy. Whether new bride or infertile mother, she takes care of the "wooden child" like a real infant, surrounds her with constant care, going so far as to carry him on her back like her own child, enclosed in his loincloth.
During childbirth, the child of wood takes precedence over the child of the pulpit. the midwife sprinkles water on it, anointed it with shea butter, places it near the baby, gives her a drop of breast milk before the baby receives the same care.

Sold out

Data sheet

Presumed dating
Circa 1940
29 x 15 cm
Ethnic group
Burkina Faso
Tribal art collection France

You might also like