Ibeji

Africa | Nigeria

Ibeji

Nigeria

Ere Ibeji twin figure
Yoruba
Oke Iho style
Oyo area, Nigeria

Carved wood, pigments, beads
Early 20th century
Height: 27.5 cm – 18 ¾ in.

Provenance
Ex collection Josef Herman, London
Ex Galerie Flak, Paris
Ex private collection, France acquired from the above in 2017

Oke Iho Ibeji figure 27.5 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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