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HOME : African & Tribal Art : Yoruba Ibeji Dolls : Yoruba Wooden Ibeji Doll
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Yoruba Wooden Ibeji Doll - PF.5573
Origin: Nigeria
Circa: 19 th Century AD to 20 th Century AD
Dimensions: 10.25" (26.0cm) high x 3.25" (8.3cm) wide
Collection: African
Style: Yoruba
Medium: Wood

Location: UAE
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The Yoruba have one of the highest rates of twinning in the world. Twins, both living and dead, are considered powerful spirits who are able to bring riches to their parents and misery to those who do not honor them. Deceased twins are memorialized by Ibeji statues, of which this is a fine example. They are cared for and toted around by the mother as a constant sign of mourning. The spirit of the Ibeji is so great that they are passed on from generation to generation who continue to care for them and offer them sacrifices. This twin is depicted in the fullness of life with large, round cheeks and face, full, protruding stomach, and sagging breasts. She rests her arms along her hips and wears a tall, triangular hat of the Abatiaja type, both typical of the Ibeji style. She has been adorned with various beaded bracelets and a necklace with three small stones on it. This jewelry is either meant to ward off evil spirits or to invoke good spirits depending on the colors of the beads and the material. This marvelous sculpture is a product of ancestral worship. The powers of the twin, already extreme in life, increase after death. This is not a simple memorial, but an active medium through which the spirit of the deceased can be invoked. The Ibeji is imbedded with a mysterious force it continues to exude. - (PF.5573)


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