Ere ibeji twin figure - ROM2008_9779_5


Ere ibeji twin figure

Maker: Unidentified Yoruba artist
Medium:Wood, metal
Geography: Nigeria
Date: 19th to mid-20th century
Height 27.5 x diameter 7.5 cm
Object number: 998.30.12
Credit Line: Gift in memory of Ian David Pritchard
On view
Gallery Location:Shreyas and Mina Ajmera Gallery of Africa, the Americas and Asia-Pacific
DescriptionPaired with 998.30.13. The Yoruba have a very high rate of twin births. This occurrence and the strong belief in the exceptional power of these extraordinary children gave origin to a very distinctive and intimate art form: the ibeji figures. Because they were believed to be powerful spirits, twins had to be taken care of whether alive or dead. When a twin died, a diviner was consulted for advice on who should carve the memorial image or images  of the twins. The wooden figures had to be washed, fed and cared for as the living children would be to insure the ibeji protection upon the family.
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