Omolangidi (Child's Doll)

By: Adenike Cosgrove Tagged:


Typically created by apprentices as their first carving, omolangidi (meaning 'child of wood') are Yoruba dolls carved as toys for young girls, who carry them on their backs held in place by a baby wrapper. As well as being toys for children, omolangidi are also carved to represent abiku (meaning 'children born to die', children that die shortly after birth).

Distinguishing Features

    • Made of wood
    • The heads range in form from highly abstract to very naturalistic
    • The dolls are limbless with flat, generally rectangular torsos that allow them to rest comfortably against the child’s back
    • The torsos of many figures are undecorated
        • Some torsos feature elaborate geometric motifs and patterns (either carved out in relief or branded with a hot iron)
    • Cylindrical or rectangular bodies and heads

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