Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Seattle Art Museum (SAM)



20th century

Turkana women call these ngide or "child" and tend to them as if they are babies. When a girl matures, she is often given a doll by her parents, with the father contributing the form out of palm nuts or wood and the mother dressing it. Some are created by girls who desire children, while others are used by women who have not been able to bear their own. Successful dolls can be passed on to younger sisters. These accumulations of beads are true to the Turkana preference for red, white and blue patterning, with occasional yellow additions.
Gourd, leather, glass beads, human hair, and fiber
4 7/8 x 2 7/16 in. (12.4 x 6.2 cm)
Diam.: 4 3/4 in.
Overall h.: 19 in.
Gift of Katherine White and the Boeing Company
Not currently on view


Exhibition HistorySeattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, A Bead Quiz, July 1, 2008 - July 1, 2009,

Seattle Art Museum acknowledges that we are on the traditional homelands of the Duwamish and the customary territories of the Suquamish and Muckleshoot Peoples. As a cultural and educational institution, we honor our ongoing connection to these communities past, present, and future. We also acknowledge the urban Native peoples from many Nations who call Seattle their home.