Ibeji

Africa | Nigeria

Ibeji

Nigeria

Ere Ibeji twin figures
Yoruba, Omu Aran style
Igbomina area, Nigeria

Early 20th century
Carved wood, pigments, fabrics, cowries
Height: 29 cm

Provenance
Ex private collection, The Netherland
Ex collection Pierre Dartevelle, Brussels
Ex private collection, Paris

Ibeji with coat 29 cm / Galerie Flak Price on request
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. Representations always showed them at the peak of their strength and power in adulthood.
In 1971, William Fagg & John Pemberton chose to feature this powerful and refined couple of Ere Ibeji figures in their groundbreaking publication "Yoruba, Sculpture of West Africa".

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