Ibeji

Africa | Nigeria / Benin

Ibeji

Nigeria / Benin

Ere Ibeji twin figures
Yoruba
Nago Style

Carved wood, beads
Early 20th century
Height: 10 ¼ in and 10 ½ in.
(26 cm et 27 cm)

Provenance
Ex collection Alain de Monbrison, Paris
Ex collection Alberto Costa, Barcelona
Ex Sotheby’s Paris, 14 Dec. 2016, lot 72
Ex collection Javier Lentini, Spain

Exhibition
Barcelona, Centre Cultural de la Fundacion “la Caixa”, Africa : Magia y poder. 2500 anos de arte en Nigeria, September 23th – December 13th, 1998

Literature
Africa : Magia y poder. 2500 anos de arte en Nigeria, Picton & Coquet, 1998, n° 171

Nago Ibeji twin figures 26 and 27 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, a reincarnation of ancestor-twins. Representations always showed them at the peak of their strength and power in adulthood.
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