African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Ibedji figure

Ibedji figure (N° 22847)

Ex-French African art collection.
Elegantly styled, this female African statuette has a thick metallic torque. She wears cheek scarifications. Smooth mahogany patina. Sculpted according to the indications of 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 it; she anoints them with oil and feeds them regularly. If it disappears, the remaining twin takes over. Considered more than a physical representation of a loved one, connected to the cult of Shango, ibedji statues are believed to influence the life and prosperity of the family, and the family continues to address prayers to them at household altars through the means of ritual libations. These Ibedji statues are among the most famous art objects of the Yoruba ethnic group. Indeed, the occurrence of twinning in this ethnic group is stronger than anywhere else in Black Africa. This particularity therefore naturally influenced and integrated their statuary.  

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OriginCollection française.
Material(s)wood, copper
Height cm28
Width10 cm
Weight0.55 Kg

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