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

Yoruba Ere ibeji figure (N° 20529)

Adorned with its magical protective accessories, the "abiku", colored beads and cowries, this statuette-doll "ere" (statue), incarnation of a twin, was sculpted on the advice of the "babalawo". Patina shaded with browns.
In the language of the Yoruba people, ibeji means twin: ibi for born and eji for two. 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 and feed him regularly. If she dies, the remaining twin takes over. Sometimes a man would also have ibeji carved for his wife to induce pregnancy. As a carrier of the twin's soul, the ibeji influences the life of the family, becoming a source of blessings to its parents, who continue to offer prayers and worship and libations to it. These statuettes of tribal art are among the most famous works of the Yoruba ethnic group. Indeed, the occurrence of twins 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 made by Fausto Polo and Jean David in the book Catalogue of the Ibeji.  

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Originex-collection belge
EthnyYoruba
Countrynigéria
Material(s)wood, perles et cauris
Height24
Width10
Weight0.40 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°

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