Image: Fertility doll- E013814 #1

Fertility doll- E013814 #1

Cone shaped doll (called 'kum-ma' in the Woppaburra language) collected by Dr Walter Edmund Roth in 1897 from the Keppel Island Group, the ancestral/traditional island homelands of the Woppaburra People. It was purchased by the Museum in 1905, and is made from the butt of a grass tree, Xanthorrhoea, painted with red ochre. Roth observed girls and women nursing dolls in their arms like babies. They were given to young girls as a charm to produce many healthy children, and were buried with the women when they died.

Rebecca Fisher
© Australian Museum

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