Fanti Fertility Doll

Contributed by Chichester District Museum

Fanti fertility doll, from Ghana, about 1830 © Chichester District Council

The dress is not original but possibly added by a Museum Curator so as not to embarrass Victorian museum visitors.This is a carved wood, painted face with traditional pattern on the back of its head. It was used by the Fanti culture of the region of West Africa formerly known as the Gold Coast. This is one of the earliest gifts to Chichester Museum and it came frmo Richard Hitchcock Esq, in June 1831. The dress is not original but was probably an addition for display in Chichester, where curators may have been anxious not to offend the modesty of museum visitors. The original label reads, Toy from the Sandwich Islesâ(incorrectly identifying both purpose and provenance). Few visitors would have travelled far and came to wonder at the objects on display. The fabric is probably Manchester cotton cloth exported from Liverpool to the Gold Coast from where we imported palm oil for soap, candles and industrial lubricant.

Comments are closed for this object

Most of the content on A History of the World is created by the contributors, who are the museums and members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the BBC or the British Museum. The BBC is not responsible for the content of any external sites referenced. In the event that you consider anything on this page to be in breach of the site’s House Rules please Flag This Object.

About this object

Click a button to explore other objects in the timeline


Gift to Chichester Museum, June 1831


View more objects from people in Sussex.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.