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Home > Ethnography > Yorubu Twins - Ibeji

Yorubu Twins - Ibeji

 
   

Reference: 03104

Description: A pair of ethnic carved Ibeji, Yoruba twins. The Yoruba are an important ethnic group mainly occupying Southwestern Nigeria, they are known for having an extraordinarily high rate of multiple births. Since the middle of the 18th century twins have been seen as a blessing and their arrival was viewed as an omen of good fortune for the family. The death of one or both twins is regarded as a great calamity for the family, one which requires immediate appeasement of the soul of the deceased child. The cultural grieving process is observed in the carving of a figure known as Ibeji, which both represents the lost child and serves as a ritual point of contact with the soul of the deceased. The sculpture itself represents a deceased infant, but is carved with features and attributes of an adult. The sculpted figure is treated and cared for as if it were alive. It is rubbed in sacramental oil, washed, fed, clothed, sung to and prayed to. The responsibility of caring for the ibeji is borne by the mother and female family members of subsequent generations. The sculpture is expected to avert evil from the household and bring good fortune to all who treat it with respect and offer it tokens of affection.

Dimensions: H: 29cm (11.5")

Additional Information:

Price: £225

 
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