A pair of Fine Ibejis (ere, ibejis).
Female 10" .Yoruba, S.W. Nigeria. Wood, Beads,
These sculptures may look oily or sometimes exude an oily substance. This may be because the Yoruba people were believed to have regularly maintained Ibejis with vegetal oils.
The Yorubas were among the African cultures that accepted twins (some cultures found them unnatural, and therefore unacceptable!). In fact, the Yoruba people did not only accept them, they also worshiped them as well.
They deemed them to be spirits and established a system of rituals for their worship and safe keeping. Libation, gift giving, daily prayers, frequent clothing changes and adornments were a few of such rituals. In the event of the unfortunate death of one, ritualistic ceremonies were performed on an on going basis to safe guard the remaining twin. It was believed that the ceremonies would prevent the dead twin from coming from the dead to re- claim the living one, or vice versa- the living twin may wish to join the dead sibling to the underworld!
It is rumored that of all the populations in the world, the Yoruba people have the most twins per capita. This rumor sounds interesting, but unfortunately we still cannot confirm it.
What we can confirm is that twins are wonderful icons and a joy to have!!!