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Yoruba Female Ibeji Twin Doll with Skirt African Art

Regular Price: $145.00

Special Price: $99.00

Product #: 74547
US Shipping: $12.98
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Type of Object Carving, Doll 
Country of Origin Nigeria 
People Yoruba
Materials Wood, pigment
Approximate Age second half 20th century
Dimensions 11.5 inches H.
Overall Condition Good
Damage/Repair cracks in head and base, wear in places


Additional Information: A Female ibeji figure. Yoruba people. Nigeria. Mid twentieth century. Among the Yoruba, who have the highest rate of twins in the world, the arrival of twins is seen as both a blessing and an omen, because of the high mortality rate. If a twin dies, an image dedicated to Ibeji ,the deity of twins, is carved to serve as the earthly abode for the spirit of the deceased. See AFRICAN DOLLS FOR PLAY AND MAGIC, by Dagan and ISN'T S/HE A DOLL -PLAY AND RITUAL IN AFRICAN SCULPTURE by Cameron. Among the Yoruba, twins have special powers, much like the orisha and are to be treated with respect throughout their lives. If a twin dies, the mother seeks a diviner's advice about which carver should make the ere ibeji for the dead child. Once the figure is carved, the artist activates it by soaking it in a special solution and rubbing it with specific oils. The mother treats the ere ibeji as if it were alive, feeding, dressing, and bathing the image. Its face is washed with soap or sugarcane fiber, then rubbed with a cloth and indigo or laundry bluing. After a period of time, the facial features may be rubbed away.