Africa

Ere Ibeji Twin figures
Yoruba

Nigeria

Twin figures
Ila Orangun

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

Ex Christie’s, Tribal Art, November 22th, 1988
Ex collection William A. McCarty-Cooper, Los Angeles
Ex private collection, USA

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.