2 Yoruba Ibeji Female Miniature Figures 9 Inch Nigeria
Includes 2 miniature figures.
Yoruba Ibeji figures are carved wooden twin figures made by the Yoruba people of Nigeria. The Yoruba believe that twins are very special and have supernatural powers. In Yoruba culture, it is believed that if one twin dies, the other twin may also die, or suffer from misfortunes. Therefore, the Yoruba have developed a rich tradition of caring for twins, which includes creating Ibeji figures.
The Ere Ibeji will be fed, washed, clothed and treated as though it were alive and present. On special days such as the twins' birthdays, ere Ibeji cult days, mothers will at times go to the marketplace and sing and dance with the Ere Ibeji. They would be honored by other women with presents and money given to them in recognition of their special status as a mother of twins. Ere Ibeji are also identified with the Yoruba Thunder God Shango who is known by red beads around the waist or ankles and often by the application of blue indigo to the hair. Ere Ibeji are carved as small children with adult attributes as to sex, breasts and hairstyles as a result they are fixed in time as children and as adults.
Ibeji figures are carved in the likeness of the deceased twin and are believed to have the soul of the deceased twin within them. The figures are treated as living beings and are cared for by the family, who offer them food and drink, clothing, and other offerings. It is believed that the Ibeji figures will bring good fortune to the family and protect them from harm.
The Ibeji figures are carved in a very stylized manner, with elongated limbs and exaggerated features. They are often decorated with intricate patterns and symbols, and may be adorned with beads, cowrie shells, and other materials. The Yoruba believe that the more elaborate and beautiful the Ibeji figure, the more powerful it is.
Today, Ibeji figures are highly sought after by collectors and are considered to be among the most important and beautiful examples of African art.