Ibedji figure representing a dead female twin, Yoruba people, Nigeria, 1871-1910

Made:
1871-1910 in Nigeria
maker:
Yoruba people

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Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Creative Commons LicenseThis image is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Creative Commons LicenseThis image is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Left hand side - A655924, Carved wooden effigy or Ibedji figure made to represent a dead twin and acts as a receptacle
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Left hand side - A655924, Carved wooden effigy or Ibedji figure made to represent a dead twin and acts as a receptacle
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Carved wooden effigy or Ibedji figure made to represent a dead twin and acts as a receptacle for its spirits, female, standing with bead necklaces, girdle, anklets and brass armlets, Yoruba, Nigeria 1871-1910

Among the Yoruba people of Nigeria, twins are believed to bless their parents with good fortune. The Yoruba people have one of the highest rates of twin births in the world and the death of a twin is considered a great misfortune. If a twin dies, the mother commissions a memorial figure (two if both twins die), and the soul of the deceased twin is believed to be transferred to it. The mother dresses the statue in cloth and jewellery and keeps it near her bed. She also offers the figure food and prayers weekly, and performs more elaborate rituals on the occasion of birthdays and annual festivals. This statue represents a female twin and forms a pair with A655924.

Details

Category:
Ethnography and Folk Medicine
Object Number:
A655927
Materials:
brass, armlets, glas, beads, wood
type:
statue
taxonomy:
  • visual and verbal communication
  • sculpture
credit:
Sotheby's
status:
Loan: Wellcome Trust

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