African art > African Dolls > Ewe figure
Couple of Ewe Venavi figure (N° 20664)
Togolese version of the Ibejdi of the Yoruba, these figurines of twins disappeared are endowed with a clear velvety patina.
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The Ewe, often confused with the Minas, are the largest ethnic group in Togo. They are also found as minorities in Ghana, Benin, Ivory Coast and Nigeria.
The Ewe consider the birth of twins called Venavi (or Venovi) as a good omen. They are to be treated equally and fairly. For example, both will be fed and washed at the same time and will wear the same clothes until they reach puberty.
If one of the twins dies, the parents obtain a statuette to replace the deceased child and contact a fetishist to activate its magical virtues.
It will be of the same sex as the child it represents and replaces, but it projects itself into the future that the child will not have known by displaying adult features.
Source: "Isn't she a doll?" E.L Cameron
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