Post from Miko Kami Spirit Dolls by Bahira

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"Pwenet" (left) and "Aphaea" (right)
“Pwenet” – She is the personification of the ancestral homeland of the ancient Egyptians located in the Horn of Africa, now Somalia.  Romanticized as The Land of Punt, it was a hub of sea trade from China to Greece and its trade goods included gold and other precious metals, ivory, ebony, plant resins, spices and exotic animals.  Pwenet is wearing a leopard-skin cloak prized by the Egyptian temple priests for their sacred ceremonies.  In her satchel she carries frankincense and cinnamon, also very expensive and precious for rituals and burials. It was said that gold was so plentiful in Punt that even slaves were shackled in gold. 

“Aphaea” – She is a temple devotee named after the Cretan Mother-Goddess (Ἀφαία) worshiped exclusively at a sanctuary on the island of Aegina in the Saronic Gulf in the 14th Century BC.  The Temple links the deity to fertility, agriculture and later on, hunting.  Aphaea is on her way to the Temple with her satchel of incense and a sea-shell candle to do her patron Goddess honor.  Aphaea will pray for her people to have bountiful harvests, healthy children and success in fishing.

"Pwenet" (left) and "Aphaea" (right) “Pwenet” – She is the personification of the ancestral homeland of the ancient Egyptians located in the Horn of Africa, now Somalia. Romanticized as The Land of Punt, it was a hub of sea trade from China to Greece and its trade goods included gold and other precious metals, ivory, ebony, plant resins, spices and exotic animals. Pwenet is wearing a leopard-skin cloak prized by the Egyptian temple priests for their sacred ceremonies. In her satchel she carries frankincense and cinnamon, also very expensive and precious for rituals and burials. It was said that gold was so plentiful in Punt that even slaves were shackled in gold. “Aphaea” – She is a temple devotee named after the Cretan Mother-Goddess (Ἀφαία) worshiped exclusively at a sanctuary on the island of Aegina in the Saronic Gulf in the 14th Century BC. The Temple links the deity to fertility, agriculture and later on, hunting. Aphaea is on her way to the Temple with her satchel of incense and a sea-shell candle to do her patron Goddess honor. Aphaea will pray for her people to have bountiful harvests, healthy children and success in fishing.

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About Miko Kami Spirit Dolls by Bahira

I have always loved patterns, textures and colors...I dream in them often. As an artist I have a driving need to create and find hand work very satisfying. I was the choreographer and costume designer for a small local dance troupe and have found the transition from lifesized to miniature extremely gratifying. I intended to make my first Doll an African ethnic figurine, but it emerged looking more Japanese than African and I felt that the spirit of the Doll had found its way out through me. My second doll was also Asian in nature and I began researching Shinto spirituality beliefs eventually coming up with the concept of Miko Kami. Since then, I have let the beauty of the fabrics guide me in the making of these Miko Kami Dolls much in the way a Kachina doll maker captures the spirit of the Kachina. I have made Dolls from many ethnic, historic and fantasy realms, and as I create them I feel good thoughts and wishes flow into them through me. Once they are finished, a little research on the Internet helps me give them a name and create their unique personas and imagined story. I have found great joy in creating Miko Kami Dolls and am delighted to pass these figures on to those like myself who can feel their spirits and enjoy their individual beauty. No two are ever alike. I make my Miko Kami Dolls with great serenity and natural tranquility and have been told that on occasion, a Doll will spiritually reach out, “speak” and bond with her intended owner. Each figure is numbered, cataloged, signed on the bottom and sold as a one-of-a-kind affordable art piece. I have known FabMo since its inception over 10 years ago in Palo Alto, CA when Hannah Cranch opened her house monthly for the first redistribution of these repurposed materials. Since then, I have let the variety and beauty of these “rescued and repurposed” fabric samples, trims and tassels inspire me to make these Female Spirit Dolls.

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