**Originally Listed At $200**
West Africa, Yoruba culture, Ibeji, ca. early 20th century. An old and well-cared for example of a deceased male twin figure, known as an Ibeji, most likely from Osogbo or the Igbomina region of Yoruba land. This male figure presents a wonderful patina - dark, worn, and smooth surfaces from handling that convey the devotion and respect to the Ibeji spirit. Take note of the painstaking attention to details, particularly the elaborately carved coiffure, the bold facial features gracing the characteristically elongated head, and the delineation of his sex. Size: 9.5" H (24.1 cm)
The Yoruba have one of the highest number of twin births in the world, four times higher than in Europe, for example. Ibeji are known to the Yoruba as two people who share one soul. If one of the human twins dies, whether as a child or an adult, the surviving human twin is considered to have little hope of living with only half a soul. When a twin dies, a figure dedicated to Ibeji, the deity of twins, is carved to be the earthly abode of the spirit of that twin. Wooden figures, like this one, are created to keep the souls of the twins together.
Provenance: ex-Adeon Gallery, Chicago, Illinois, USA, acquired prior to 1970
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