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African Dolls

African Dolls

The Dulger Collection

By (author) Frank Jolles


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  • An impressive collection of 109 African dolls from the second half of the twentieth century
  • The author describes in detail the ritual, spiritual and healing importance of every object
Full Description

Whereas the Western world views dolls as children’s toys – apart from a few adults with a passion for collecting them – in South Africa dolls are part of a tribe’s cultural heritage. They are not toys but objects that are laden with associations and the ritual and religious beliefs of a community. African dolls are seen as mediators between the natural and the supernatural; they were created in a great variety of materials and used for ritual, spiritual and healing purposes. All dolls in this collection come from a Zulu household in Msinga, a tribal region in the former province of Natal, today KwaZulu-Natal, on the eastern coast of South Africa. Made by women of the tribe between 1987 and 1994, they document the end of an agrarian-oriented population and the development towards a modern industrial society in South Africa. In numerous interviews with the women of this tribe, the author captured the meaning and the content of this collection, which has been passed on over many generations from mothers to daughters.

Text in English & German.

Arnoldsche Art Publishers
19th Jan 2011
UK, US, Eastern Europe, France, Benelux, Japan, South Korea, Africa, South America & Ireland exclusive. South Africa, N&M East, China non-exclusive
255 mm x 173 mm
176 Pages
153 color, 8 b&w
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