African Dolls: The Dulger Collection (Hardcover) by Jolles Frank
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.