Venavi figure from the Ewe people, Togo and Ghana
9" tall
early to mid 20th century

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"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.
For additional detail, click on any photo below to see the higher resolution version of the image.
For additional detail, click on any photo below to see the higher resolution version of the image.