South Africa

The Ndebele people live in South Africa & Zimbabwe. The Ndebele language is one of the main tribal languages of South Africa. This woman of the Ndebele tribe wears neck bands/rings that signify wealth. Married women wear a beaded apron called mapato, as this doll illustrates.

More info:

South Africa-Travel
Under South Africa Skies
The History of the Ndebele Wallpainting
Traditional African Clothing

Ivory Coast

There are approximately 350,000 people of the Dan tribe, also called Yacuba/Yacouba, living in the Ivory Coast & Liberia. This doll represents a masked ceremonial dancer called a Tankoe Ge, who dances and entertains for special occasions such as weddings, harvest celebrations, the arrival of visiting dignitaries, etc. The slit eyes indicate the mask is female in form, although it would be worn only by initiated men.

More info:

Masks Descriptions
Dan Masks
Dan Dancer


This doll represents a twin masked dancer of the Baule/Baoulé people of Ivory Coast.  The two side by side faces of the mask depict twins, a good omen, and the dance itself is a celebratory one.

More info:

Twin Masks – 20th Century

Double Twin Mask – 19th Century

Baule/Baoulé People