Ere Ibeji Twin Figure


Twin Figure
Ila Orangun Style

Carved wood
Early 20th century
Height: 13¼ in. (33.5 cm)

Ex collection Merton Simpson, New York
Ex collection Allen Alperton, New York (1920-2007)
Ex Sotheby’s, New York, 18 mai 1992, lot 35
Ex collection James Willis, San Francisco
Ex private collection, Brussels

Price: on request

Western Africa
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The statuettes linked to twin worship, are called ere ibeji in the Yoruba language: ere signifying a sacred image, ibi born and eji a double. Symbols of prestige, wealth and fecundity, ere ibeji figures also guaranteed the perpetuation of future generations. These
effigies of ancestors were an integral part of everyday activities, punctuating the family life of the Yoruba.
Subject to very codified rituals, ere ibeji figures were pampered, with their care including feeding, washing and oiling.
They were considered to be living beings, a reincarnation of ancestor-twins. Representations always showed them at the peak of their strength and power in adulthood.