TYPE: Artifact
DIMENSIONS: 7 inches high and 1-3/4 inches in diameter at the base
COMPONENTS: doll; pecan (?) wood with fine original patina.
ITEM ID: 604

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Slave Wooden Doll

Year: 1810
Decade: 1810s
Century: 19th (1801-1900)
Notes: circa late 18th to mid 19th century

An African doll made out of carved wood in the old South – Georgia. Small carved wood doll. This is an example of an African doll made in America’s ante-bellum South, bearing definite similarities to the fertility dolls made for the young Zaramo girls of Tanzania. Called Mwana Hiti, literally “child of wood,” these dolls are given to young initiates upon coming of age, and are meant to be cared for by the adolescent girls as they would an actual infant.