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A Fine Collection of Antique African Kwere or Zaramo Doll Figures Tanzania East Africa

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Collection No. TB Kwere Dolls
Size Heights: 6cm to 13cm
New Guinea & Oceanic Art
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New Guinea Oceanic Art
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A Fine Collection of (18) Antique Kwere or Zaramo Doll Figures from Tanzania in East Africa

The Zaramo mwana hiti, meaning “child of wood,” is used in initiation ceremonies of the Kwere, Zaramo, Luguru, and Gogo people of Tanzania in East Africa

According to  Adenike Cosgrove:

” Zaramo mwana hiti figures carry both practical and symbolic significance. They serve as companions for young girls during the initiation ceremony, as they are separated from their families during the process as well as childless married girls and women. Sometimes such figures are used as a form of adornment. They can be used to decorate the ends of musical instruments, walking sticks, furniture, or grave posts. The physicality of the object also provides a tangible connection to clan ancestors, turning the figure into a family heirloom to be passed down from generation to generation. During the initiation process, the wooden figure is given to the female initiate by a maternal uncle. The ceremony educates the initiate on the ideal qualities of womanhood: hard work, generosity, prudence, and a nurturing disposition. In addition to this, she also receives sex education, instruction on how to please her husband, and ways to stay connected to her family. Following the conclusion of the ceremony, the initiates carry the figures around their necks and are expected to take great care of the figures to ensure and protect their fertility. ”

These figures were collected over the past 40 years, whenever I saw a good one for sale I bought it, and when I found a better example I would deaccession the lesser one and keep the best figure. When you see them together as a collection they look their finest as a group of small-scale sculptures that expand your imagination.

Provenance: Many  Old Collections in the USA & Europe:  The Todd Barlin Collection of African Art

See my new EXHIBITIONS GALLERY  showing the Museums and Art Galleries Exhibitions that I provided artworks for over the past 40 years. There is the link to the article about my artworks published in the prestigious Louvre Magazine in 1996

I have artwork for Museums and art Galleries but also for collectors at every stage of their collecting. I want to encourage people to explore the fine art of New Guinea & West Papua and the Pacific Islands and to be able to see and touch the artworks in a relaxed and friendly manner in my Sydney Gallery. I would like to invite you to visit my gallery and see the artworks in person and also look at my website www.oceanicartsaustralia.com where there are many Galleries & Sub Galleries to explore.

My Gallery of nearly 40 years is the last physical gallery in Sydney that specializes in New Guinea and Oceanic Art.  Sydney is very close to New Guinea & the Pacific Islands where all of these amazing artworks came from, Australia’s closest neighbors.


If you have a similar “object” for sale please contact me for the best price and honest advice by a Government approved valuer 

To see many more rare items and the finest masterpieces, please make an appointment with us to visit the gallery.

For all inquiries, please contact us