Ere Ibeji Twin Figures


Twin Figures
Shaki Style
Oyo Area

Carved wood and pigments
Early 20th century
Height: 11 ¾ in. (30 cm)

Ex Christie’s Paris 2003 lot 394
Ex collection Jacques Germain, Montreal
Ex private collection, Brussels

Price: on request

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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.