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Doll used in Stillbirth Ceremony in Gambia, c.1930-50

This doll is made of baked mud with textiles and human hair. It is a replica of one made in a Gambian Village for women who had had stillbirths. The doll is treated as a live child. It is baptised on the eighth day, when a feast is held. In many West African medical traditions, stillbirth is attributed to evil forces or spirits. It requires a range of healing practices, some dating back thousands of years.

(Source: sciencemuseum.org.uk)

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    Amazing. Ritualistic Gambian doll. Ties in with adornment and ritual.
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