Douglas Yaney Gallery
African Tribal Art

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Yoruba tribe   female Ibeji
very nice patina
9 1/2" high 
circa: late 19th, early 20th century
Was $595 
Reduced Price: $446

Ibeji  The Yoruba people have an extraordinarily high number of twins born and unfortunately  there is also a large number of deaths during childhood. 

Twins are considered to be powerful spirits, so upon the death of one or both twins, the ibeji, a small wood figure, is carved to represent the deceased child.  The ibeji is treated just as if the child were still alive.  It is bathed. clothed, fed and generally looked after by the mother to assure that only good fortune is brought to the family. Ibeji are not carved to look like children but instead they appear as either male or female adults.