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African art > African Dolls > Ibeji couple

Couple of statuettes ibedji Yoruba (N° 17605)

Belgian African art collection.
Wearing only protective adornment 'abiku' colorful pearl necklaces, these doll statuettes (statues), evoking twins, have a conical hairstyle formed of braids. A specificity distinguishes them, the prominent mouth in the form of a beak symolating in the Yorubala divination and the occult world.
Dark brown glossy surface. Indigo residues on the headdress.br- In the language of the Yoruba people, ibeji means twin: ibi for born and eji for dwo. They represent the figure of a deceased twin. This ibedji is then treated as the missing child would have been. It is the mother who must take care of him; she can wash it and feed it regularly. If she dies, the remaining twin takes over. A man also sometimes had ibeji for his wife carve in order to induce pregnancy. Supporting the twin's soul, ibeji influences the life of the family, becoming a source of benefit to his parents, the latter continuing to pray to him and to worship and libations.
These tribal art statuettes are among the most well-known works of the Yoruba ethnic group. Indeed, the occurrence of groaning in this ethnic group is stronger than anywhere else in Black Africa. This particularity has therefore naturally influenced and integrated their statuary.
A detailed comparative study of the different regional styles was carried out by Fausto Polo and Jean David in the book Catalogue of the Ibeji.  

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OriginColl. belge Lenoir
EthnyNigéria
Countrynigéria
Material(s)wood, perles
Height33
Width8
Weight0.54 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°

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