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Yoruba Ibeji Twin Female Nigeria African Art

Regular Price: $390.00

Special Price: $220.00

Product #: 92602
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Title Yoruba Ibeji Twin Female Nigeria Africa
Type of Object Carving, Twin figure
Country of Origin Nigeria
People Yoruba, Oyo (Saki ?) Region
Materials Wood, pigment (Camwood powder). glass beads.
Approximate Age Mid 20th century
Dimensions Height 11 inches
Overall Condition Fair.   Most of our pieces have spent decades on at least two continents, and have been treasured by several owners.   Small splits, scrapes and cracks are a normal part of their patina attesting to their age and extensive use.  We examine each piece carefully when we receive it and report any damage we find in our listings.  Please look carefully at the pictures which may also reveal condition and damage.
Damage/Repair Old bug damage arrested, chips, scratches and scrapes in places


Additional Information:  The large number of ere ibeji carved by Yoruba artists results in a great diversity of local and regional styles and individual artistic creativity. The facial markings of the one ere ibeji reflect localized clan markings. At one point twins, known as Ibeji, were thought by the Yoruba to be evil and were quickly killed as they were considered to be monsters and abnormal. But a cult of twins developed in which the twins were now seen to be minor deities who blessed their families with good fortune. The death of either of the twins or both is thought to be calamitous for the family that must be remedied by appeasing the soul of the deceased child through the carving of a figure put in the care of the mother who will treat the small wooden figure as though it were the deceased twin. Ere ibeji are carved as small children with adult attributes as to sex, breasts and hairstyles and as a result they are fixed in time as adults as in these two well carved female figures.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. (AFRICAN DOLLS FOR PLAY AND MAGIC, by Dagan.) "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." (ISN'T S/HE A DOLL -PLAY AND RITUAL IN AFRICAN SCULPTURE/Cameron)


I have examined this piece and agree with the description.


Niangi Batulukisi, PhD