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.

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Location
Culture
Period

Gift to Chichester Museum, June 1831

Theme
Size
H:
25cm
W:
5cm
D:
5cm
Colour
Material

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