African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Ewe Doll
Female figure Ewe Venovi (N° 14826)
A figure of the missing twin, this naked female statuette features a clear honey patina encrusted with white clay residue. The wood is cracked. The sculpture is atoped with very thin pearl necklaces, forming a sex cache at the pubis. One can note the patternofing of the large ears and the graceful assemblage of the braids.
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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, Côte d'Ivoire and Nigeria. Although little historical information is available about them, it seems that their location in their present location is the result of invasions and conflicts that erupted during the 17th century. The Ewe consider the birth of twins called Venavi (or Venovi) as a happy omen. They must be treated equally and fairly. For example, both will be fed and washed at the same time and will wear the same clothes until puberty.
If one of the twins dies, the parents obtain a statuette to replace the deceased child and turn to a fetishist to activate its magical virtues.
She will be of the same sex as the child she represents and replaces but plans into the future that the child will not have known by sporting adult traits.
Source: "Isn't she a doll? E.L. Cameron
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