IBIBIO, Ebere Society Uden Nyama doll, Nigeria
wood, pigment
10.5"/26.7cm tall
early to mid 20th century
ex private collection, US


Uden Nyama, or fatting house dolls, are given to young
unwed girls at the time of entering the Ibibio fatting house
by their Ebere Society sponsor and are carried by the girl
throughout her sojourn there. The doll symbolizes the
beautiful child which the maiden is to bear within a year
after she leaves the fatting house and is married.

This is a classically beautiful example with interesting
painted designs on it.
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