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Yoruba Ibeji Female Twin Figure Nigeria African Art

Regular Price: $190.00

Special Price: $95.00

Product #: 74550
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Title Yoruba Ibeji Female Twin Figure Nigeria Africa
Type of Object Carving, Dolls 
Country of Origin Nigeria 
People Yoruba
Materials Wood, pigment,  beads.
Approximate Age Mid 20th century
Dimensions 10.5 inches
Overall Condition Fair
Damage/Repair damaged face, crack in base, shallow crack in arm, chips


Additional Information: 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. "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 to stand in 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." For wonderful pictures and examples, see AFRICAN DOLLS FOR PLAY AND MAGIC, by Dagan, and ISN'T S/HE A DOLL -PLAY AND RITUAL IN AFRICAN SCULPTURE by Cameron.