Ere Ibeji twin figure
Oke Iho style
Oyo area, Nigeria
Carved wood, pigments, beads
Early 20th century
Height: 27.5 cm – 18 ¾ in.
Ex collection Josef Herman, London
Ex Galerie Flak, Paris
Ex private collection, France acquired from the above in 2017
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.