Ere Ibeji (Twin Figure)19th century - 20th century
9 13/16 in. x 3 3/8 in. x 2 15/16 in. (25 cm x 8.5 cm x 7.5 cm)
Bryn Mawr College
The mother of the deceased child will care for the ere ibeji just as she cares for the living twin. It will be washed, moisturized, clothed, and fed. It is believed that proper care of the ere ibeji ensures that the deceased twin will not lure the living twin to join it. When a parent can no longer care for the figure, it becomes the responsibility of the living twin. If an ere ibeji is left without a keeper, it is given to an iya’beji, a woman who cares for all abandoned twin figures.
Presently, it is growing less and less common to have an ere ibeji made. Instead, photos are sometimes used to represent a deceased twin.
This object has the following keywords:
- African - Refers to the cultures of the continent of Africa, which is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian Ocean, and the Mediterranean Sea.
- beads - Refers to small objects, of any shape or material, pierced so that they may be strung or hung or attached, as by sewing.
- carvings - Refers to works executed by cutting a figure or design out of a solid material such as stone or wood. It typically refers to works that are relatively small in size, are part of a larger work, or are not considered art. For large and medium-sized three-dimensional works of art, use the broader term "sculpture" or another appropriate term.
- ere ibeji - Anthropomorphic figures carved by the Yoruba people of Africa in memory of a deceased twin or twins.
- female - Referring to the sex that normally produces eggs or female germ cells.
- Indigofera tinctoria - Species of shrub shrub that is an annual, biennial, or perennial, depending upon the climate. It was an original source of indigo dye. It is naturalized to tropical and temperate Asia and Africa, and cultivated elsewhere for centuries; its location of origin is uncertain.
- labrets - Decorative items worn inserted into a hole in or near the lip.
- ritual objects - Objects used for a particular ritual activity, often as part of a ceremony.
- wood - The principal tissue of trees and other plants that provides both strength and a means of conducting nutrients. Wood is one of the most versatile materials known.
Owner Name: Mace Neufeld and Helen Katz Neufeld, Class of 1953
Place: Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, US
Ownership End Date: 12/20/1996
The following Comparanda exist for this object:
- Fausto Polo, "Ibeji Archive." (Accessed July 23, 2020): http://ibejiarchive.com/. Record No.: 53V07.
- "African Heritage Document and Research Center." (Accessed June 11, 2020): AHDRC.eu. Record No.: 0107841.
- "African Heritage Document and Research Center." (Accessed June 11, 2020): AHDRC.eu. Record No.: 0107511.
The following Related Bibliography exist for this object:
- Gert Stoll and Mareidi Stoll. Ibeji: Zwillingsfiguren der Yoruba (Munich, Germany: Authors, January 1, 1980), 157-158.
- Robert Farris Thompson, "Sons of Thunder: Twin Images among the Oyo and Other Yoruba Groups." African Arts 4, no. 3 (Spring 1971): 8-13, 77-80.
- Marilyn Hammersley Houlberg, "Ibeji Images of the Yoruba." African Arts 7, no. 1 (Autumn 1973): 20-27, 91-92.
This object is a member of the following portfolios:
Your current search criteria is: Portfolio is "Twin Figures" and [Object]Object Type Sub 1 is "Ritual Objects" and [Object]Display Artist is "Unknown Oyo".View current selection of records as: