Lot: 52

Male twin figure "ere ibeji"

Nigeria, Yoruba, Oyo, Shaki

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
Otmaro Silva, Venezuela, South America (coll. in situ, 1965-68, when he served as Venezuelan ambassador in Nigeria)
Peter Willborg, Stockholm, Sweden
H: 9.6 inch 2000 EUR / 4500 EUR

wood, indigo blue pigment, camwood powder, glass beads, coconut discs, insect caused damage This "ibeji" captivates by its minimalistic form and the facial features heavily rubbed by repeated feeding procedures. "Ibeji" figures are supposed to remind of deceased twins. They act as a home for the soul of the dead child and they were cared for just as the surviving child. The figure is handsomely dressed and decorated with chains and rings, washed and anointed (with a mixture of finely ground redwood and palm oil) at least once a week (normally on fridays), and when the mother takes the twin to her breast, the "ibeji" gets his portion too.


Stoll, Gert & Mareidi, Ibeji, Zwillingsfiguren der Yoruba, München 1980, p. 245, ill. 134