South Africa 4 Ceremonial Dolls Ndebele People

Four large coneshaped dolls made by the Ndebele people. The Ndebele people mainly live in the northeast of South Africa. The two dolls with the long black hair represent Sangomas. A Sangoma is a diviner; a practitioner of herbal medicine, divination and counselling. The other two dolls are ceremonial dolls that play a role in courtship and/or fertility rituals. Nowadays this type of doll is mainly made for the tourist trade.

Folklore is in the air… uhm… ear!


Object Ritual dolls
Origin South Africa
Culture Ndebele people
Medium Fabric, plastic, rope, beads, yarn
Mark or Tag None
Made by Unknown
Size H 78 & 46 cm
Dated Not dated
Acquired Fleemarket, 78 cm dolls end 2000's (before 2009) & 46 cm doll mid 2010's


Here's a postcard that matches these dolls. It shows how the people living in South Africa are dressed in their traditional costume.

Text on the back of the postcard: 'Ndebele women and children at the Ndebele village, North of Pretoria, South Africa. Ndbele-vroue en -kinders in Ndebele bantoestat noord van Pretoria, Suid-Afrika'. Postmark 1979.

Happy collecting,