Africa in the Eifel

In the redesigned Losheim "dream world" of the ArsFIGURA - one does not only go on a journey through time, one can also experience distant continents and the African continent up close.

Africa live in the Eifel region

Bets van Boxel, one of the best porcelain character actresses ever shows her latest works in a dreamlike scenery.

Since the Losheimer ArsFIGURA located in the building of the famous ArsKrippana directly at the German-Belgian border actually represents a time travel into the 19th century, the makers came up with something special for their character dolls. Embedded in the old lane of the imperial era, a "Panoptikum" was built. Around the turn of the century, strange curiosities were shown in such sceneries at fairs, exotic animals and strange people were "exhibited".

Nowadays unthinkable, Africans were put on display at that time. It's a good thing that this is only history today.

The porcelain dolls of the Dutch artist Bets van Boxel, live literally, they laugh at the visitor, a lifelike scene. In the background, the lions lie in wait, the elephants are at the watering place, the leopard lazes in the tree and the monkeys play in the savannah.

Africa live.

The performers themselves are not fictitious, but she met the artist personally on her travels, photographed and then cast in porcelain in a strictly limited edition of only 5 copies worldwide. Just treasures.
Thus three different African ethnicities are represented:

    Mursi and Turmi from Namibia
    Rowatema with Mola, Adissu and Tadesse
    Mirke and Balo from Ethiopia and Kalime and Algo from Guinea.

The ethnic differences of the different African tribes are beautifully represented and the special African clothing underlines the artist's will to perfection. A unique experience. As a sign of "globalisation" another Indian woman is "on a visit": Orissa is the name of the young lady from the Bondo tribe. Here the women and girls wear long pearl necklaces and metal jewellery around their necks. Around the waist they wear only a tiny hand-woven striped loincloth.

Further information:
Ethnological character dolls by Bets van Boxel:

Bets van Boxel has been fascinated by people all her life. At first she expressed this passion by drawing and painting. However, she developed a predilection for the three-dimensional representation of people at an early age, in order to be able to adequately represent posture, mood and all the details of clothing. In particular, they inspire people in everyday situations. The children Bets and Jos meet on their travels are transformed into dolls when they return home. She tries to reflect the atmosphere and character of the country and its people. If possible, she uses fabrics and accessories that she has brought herself from the respective country. Bets works with porcelain; this material, which can be preserved for centuries, has exactly the right "skin" to make a doll look as lifelike as possible.

All dolls have mouth-blown crystal eyes and wear human hair or mohair wigs. The dolls are produced in limited editions of 5 to 10 pieces. Bets van Boxel rightly calls her work "Children without Borders".

    Kalime and Algo
    Country of Origin: Guinea
    In many exotic countries it is common for older siblings to take care of their little brothers and sisters. Kalime also takes care of her little brother Algo. The people in Guinea do not live a sedentary life. They find their food in the surrounding nature.
    Mirke and Balo
    Country of Origin: Ethiopia
    Mirke and Balo ran into Bets in northern Ethiopia. The people live here at an altitude of about 2500 meters. Therefore it is significantly colder here than in the south. Most people live from agriculture.
    Rowatema with Mola, Adissu and Tadesse
    Country of Origin: Ethiopia
    On a round trip through Ethiopia Bets met different tribes who still wear traditional clothes and live without western influences. This inspired them to create this Ethiopian family: a proud mother with her baby, a big sister and a little brother. The two older siblings have painted faces and all wear the traditional costumes of the Hamar tribe, who live in southern Ethiopia in the Omo River region.
    Saris
    Country of Origin: Comes from distant Orissa/India, and is only visiting Africa.
    Description: Saris is the image of a girl from the Bondo tribe. The women and girls wear long pearl necklaces and metal jewellery around their necks. Around the waist they wear only a tiny hand-woven striped loincloth.
    Mursi and Turmi
    Country of Origin: Namibia
    Mursi and Turmi are of the Himba tribe from the north of Namibia. The Himba are cattle breeders and feed mainly on milk, milk fat and occasionally some meat. About ten families live together in a village where cattle play a central role. In the Himba, women and children rub skin and hair with a mixture of milk fat and red earth. This is considered beautiful and protects the skin from dirt.