African art > African Dolls > Statuette Ibeji
Statuette Ere Ibedji Yoruba (N° 17519)
Wearing braids in conical buns, this female statuette depicted perched on a circular base, features a thick metal torque, wide rings on the wrists. Crusty libation residues clustered on the surface. Indigo pigments remain on the headdress. Sculpted according to the Ifa indications transmitted to the soothsayer, the babalawo , the Ibedji statuettes played the role of substitute for the death of the child.
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The statues are then treated as the missing child would have been. It is the mother who must take care of it; they anoint them with oil and feed them regularly. If it disappears it is the remaining twin who takes over.
Puted as much more than a physical representation of a loved one, linked to the cult of Shango, the ibedji statues are supposed to influence the life and prosperity of the family, and the family continues to pray to them on domestic altars through ritual libations.
These ibedji statues are among the most well-known art objects 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.
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