Ndebele fertility dolls
S = 15 cm
Many times displaced in recent centuries by tribal clashes or more recently by the opportunist interests of the apartheid government, this tribe is now settled in a small territorial enclave (KwaNdebele) northeast of Pretoria where you can admire these beautiful murals that made it famous. Their art of pearl work is just as admirable as their ritual or representative dolls.
These dolls are traditionally (secretly) made by grandmothers for their little girls on the occasion of their wedding. The custom is that they keep them until the birth of their third child and then hand them over to one of their daughters. In the case where only boys would be born from their marriage, the Ndebele being a matriarchal society the doll is destroyed in order to ward off fate.