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

Yoruba Statuette (N° 24128)

The Ibeji, Substitute Images in African Art
This male effigy has large protruding eyes following the aesthetic conventions of African Yoruba sculpture. Anointing residues remain locally crystallized.
Shiny mahogany patina, indigo highlights, cracks.
In the language of the Yoruba people, ibeji means twin: ibi for born and eji for two< /i>. 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.
It also happened that a man had ibeji carved for his wife in order to encourage pregnancy, the object becoming a support for fertility. Support for the soul of the twin, the ibeji influences the life of the family, becoming a source of benefits for his parents, the latter continuing to send him prayers and to devote worship and libations to him.
These tribal art statuettes are among the most famous works 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.
A detailed comparative study of the different regional styles has been 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
Height cm29
Width11 cm
Weight0.48 Kg

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