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

Ibedji Statuette (N° 24984)

In accordance with the aesthetic conventions specific to African Yoruba sculpture, this statuette offers large protruding eyes, cheek scarifications, and a braided hairstyle. Its protective adornments are the ajebu.
Semi-satin patina, colored highlights, desiccation 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.
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 française
EthnyYoruba
Countrynigéria
Material(s)wood, perles, cauris
Height cm28
Width10 cm
Weight0.40 Kg
Estimated datingcirca 1960

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