Africa | Doll from the Bagirmi people of Chad | Wood | ca. prior to 1960 | The only carvings known to be made by the Bagirmi are these stylized dolls, which depict women wearing wide skirts. The dolls are carved from light-coloured wood, which is then blackened. It is thought that these dolls like the Namchi dolls had a ritual function.
Traditionally, dolls were also worn by mature women hoping to enhance their fertility; it was out of this tradition that the trade in beaded Ndebele dolls evolved. The beaded bands and dangling rings emulate cholwane, beaded straw rings worn by Ndebele women at weddings and other rites of passage.