Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Yoruba Ibeji Twins

Ibeji figures represent deceased twins born to Yoruba mothers, who have the highest rate of twin pregnancies in the world. After a twin's death, this small, wooden effigy figure is fed, bathed, clothed, and offered the same loving care that Yoruba women lavish on living infants and especially surviving twins.

This pair of ibeji, from the Egba clan, present a marvelous example of classic Yoruba art. Darkened with a rich patina and sporting vivid coiffures, their deep tones of brown and blue are heightened by the sparing but effective addition of red beads, providing a gorgeous contrast of elemental hues. Scarifications present on the cheeks, chests, and arms complete the range of detail on these carefully crafted twins, subtly but eloquently evoking living identity and persona.

No comments: