b. Nigeria, 20th century

1986.428.1.jpg
TH1986.428.1rev.jpg
TH1986.428.1CENTER.jpg

Description

Twin figures
Wood, glass beads, twine, shell, metal, blue and black pigment
12 x 4 1/4 x 4" EACH
The rate of twinning is especially high among Yoruba peoples (approximately 45 sets in every 1,000 births). This cultural phenomenon is considered to be a blessing despite increased risk of infant morality. Ere ibeji honor mothers who bear twins, and are traditionally carved as a memorial to twins who do not survive childbirth. As the shells and bead accessories indicate, these figures are considered clothed. Such sculptures are cared for by mothers who commission them before eventually being passed on to the surviving sibling who is charged with ritually washing, dressing, and making offerings of food to each. The blue pigment applied to the coiffure is likely indigo, a natural plant-based dye signifying balancea central aesthetic concept observed in Yoruba art.

Date

20th Century

Creator

b. Nigeria, 20th century

Source

Gift of John and Andrea Rich

Identifier

1986.428.1

Collection

Citation

b. Nigeria, 20th century, “b. Nigeria, 20th century,” UCSB ADA Museum Omeka, accessed October 7, 2022, http://art-collections.museum.ucsb.edu/items/show/14375.