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Twins are considered to be ibejiworo (spirit-children), whose closeness to the gods brings families good or ill fortune. If one twin dies, parents commission a commemorative depiction of the child in ideal adulthood to be dressed and placed in a family shrine. In this way, the deceased twin continues to be cared for and honored by ritual feeding and applications of palm oil, camwood powder and prestigious indigo. The lustrous, worn surfaces of these two figures indicate years of such care. They were most likely carved by the same artist but represent one child from each of two sets of twins born to different families.

Details

  • Title: Male of Twin Figures
  • Date Created: Early 20th century
  • Physical Dimensions: w79.5 x h279.4 in
  • Type: Sculpture
  • Rights: Purchase: William Rockhill Nelson Trust through the George H. and Elizabeth O. Davis Fund, Purchase: William Rockhill Nelson Trust through the George H. and Elizabeth O. Davis Fund
  • Medium: Wood, beads, shell, metal, fiber, and camwood powder
  • Culture: Yoruba peoples

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