|Venavi figure from the Ewe people, Togo and Ghana|
early to mid 20th century
I especially love the large exaggerated arms on this particular style of venavi figures. This figure has a
well worn surface from use and I like the representation of the hair.
"The Ewe, who live in southern Togo and Ghana are the eastern neighbors of Asante. They are probably best known for their textiles and also
for small wooden dolls called "venovi" or "venavi" which are used like the Yoruba people in Nigeria used Ibeji twin figurines, for
protection of survivor after death of a twin. Some scholars state that they are also used as children's dolls as well as sometimes used
as fertility dolls by women who keep these dolls under their mattresses or were worn under the skirts of young women to ensure
fertility. Scarifications and added clothing and strings of beads reveal family and clan religious and social affiliations." From: Isn't
S/He a Doll: Play and Ritual in African Sculpture by Elisabeth Lynn Cameron and Doran H. Ross.