Fali Ham Pilu doll
  • Fali Ham Pilu doll
  • African Fali doll
  • Fali african art in Cameroon

Fali Ham Pilu doll


The most famous pieces of African art from the Fali are undoubtedly the ham piru or ham pilu (“wooden child”) fertility or engagement dolls.
These are made by the groom and given by him to his bride when the marriage is agreed between the families.
Since marriage can be agreed very early in a young girl's life, it was not uncommon (but this is no longer the case) to come across little girls carrying these dolls on their backs (like a baby) for several years before marriage and until the birth of their child. first child.

The body is made of wood, covered with red and yellow glass beads, leather, cowrie shells and amulets.
Each component has a dual aesthetic and prophylactic value. The noisy assembly serves to ward off evil spirits (especially those that would prevent women from becoming fertile), the titchelu amulets made of goat horns and wrapped in leather contain medicinal plants that protect the woman and the unborn child, and cowrie shells, often associated with the female sex, promote the fertility of the couple, completing the phallic shape of the body of the object.

Accessories are sometimes added to this composition, such as a leather bag similar to that worn by boys, and small iron sticks.
This doll represents the firstborn of the future couple.
The latter is always male, boys being more desirable for the first child. It is the upper ornament of the doll, representing the braided tu lokchom hair of little boys, which gives the sex of the object.

African fertility or engagement dolls are still used today by the Fali in Cameroon, although they are worn less often.

By buying this object you can collect up to 35 fidelity points fidelity point.
Your cart will total 35 fidelity point that can be converted into a voucher of €17.50.

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Data sheet

Presumed dating
Mid XXth century
42 cm
Ethnic group
Wood, accessories
Franco Maria Ricci, Italy

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