Chinese Medicine Dolls
Along with the Japanesse Hankos ivory had many uses, including being made into hand-carved Chinese Medicine dolls. These dolls were unique, for they were used during the 18th and 19th century, traded from Africa to China. The dolls were used by women who went to the doctor- when they didn't want the male doctor to touch their bodies, the women would simply point to the carved figurine. These dolls were extremely popular, and according to Bodies of Evidence, "in the 1920s, some U.S. phyisicians who served as missionaries or were with the military in China reported finding the dolls still in use" (Dalton 1). However, "in the 1930s, missionaries seldom saw them, even in remote regions" (Dalton 1). As technology advanced and x-rays, cat scans, and medical equipment became more popular, the dolls were not needed. Today, they are still valuable because of the geniune ivory they were scultpted from.
Ivory & China
Ivory was traded to china, partly to be used to construct the Chinese medicine dolls. Before trade laws became stricter and there were pollicies banning ivory trade, it was common. However, today, there are problems with China and it's need for ivory. According to the Environmental Investigation Agency, "China has the largest illegal ivory trade of any nation in the world" and "it is the most significant global desination for illegal ivory." (Thorton 1) While companies such as CITES attempt to protect Africa's decreasing elephant population by banning international trade of ivory products in 1989, China is ignoring CITES demands and the Chinese government is doing little to enforce the rules banning ivory imports and exports. As of today, China is creating loopholes to continue government owned companies to import and export ivory illegally. China is currently trying to convince CITES to allow them to continue trade of ivory, and even offers CITES to be in charge, monitoring how much ivory is traded.