African art > African Dolls > Ibeji figure

Ibeji figure (N° 21538)

Elegantly coiffed, this male statuette has a thick metallic torque, and a loincloth composed of strings of cowries and beads, the protective "abiku". She wears jugal and body scarifications. Smooth mahogany patina. Carved according to the indications of the Ifa transmitted to the diviner, the babalawo, the Ibedji statuettes played the role of substitute for the death of the child. The statues are then treated as the missing child would have been. It is the mother who must take care of them; she anoints them with oil and feeds them regularly. If she disappears, the remaining twin takes over.
Considered as more than a physical representation of a loved one, linked to the cult of Shango, the ibedji statues are believed to influence the life and prosperity of the family, and the latter continues to address prayers to them on domestic altars through ritual libations.

These Ibedji statues are among the most famous art objects of the Yoruba ethnic group. Indeed, the occurrence of gemellity in this ethnic group is stronger than anywhere else in Black Africa. This particularity has therefore naturally influenced and integrated their statuary.
 

 


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EthnyYoruba
Countrynigéria
Material(s)wood, perles, metal et cauris
Height cm25
Width9 cm
Weight0.35 Kg

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