{ "objects" : [ { "embark_ID" : 145808, "URL" : "https://webkiosk.gallerysystems.com/Objects-1/info/145808", "Disp_Access_No" : "99.3.20", "_AccNumSort1" : "", "Disp_Create_DT" : "Early 20th century to Mid 20th century", "_Disp_Start_Dat" : "1900", "_Disp_End_Date" : "1966", "Disp_Title" : "Ere Ibeji (Twin Figure)", "Alt_Title" : "", "Obj_Title" : "", "Series_Title" : "", "Disp_Maker_1" : "unknown Igbomina", "Sort_Artist" : "unknown Igbomina", "Disp_Dimen" : "12.795 x 3.346 x 3.346 in. (32.5 x 8.5 x 8.5 cm)", "Disp_Height" : "12.795 in.", "Disp_Width" : "3.346 in.", "Dimen_Extent" : "", "Medium" : "Carved and incised wood with pigment and glass beads", "Support" : "", "Disp_Medium" : "Carved and incised wood with pigment and glass beads", "Info_Page_Comm" : "Female figure matches male twin, w/ hat, larger than head. Conical breasts. Triangular geometric carving on top of chest. Similar design on back. Large, defined facial features, parts of wood are reddish, arms are connected to belly. Glass bead necklace. Nigeria has the highest incidence of twin births of any country in the world. Among the Yoruba, twins are regarded as blessed spiritual beings who bring wealth to their families. When a twin passes away, the parents consult a babalawo (priest or diviner), who will advise the family to have an ere ibeji, or twin figure, carved to represent the gender of the deceased twin and become the residence of the twin’s spirit. 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. 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