• Creator
  • Yoruba (African people) Social life and customs
  • Created Date
  • 7-8-02
  • Description
  • A carved wooden male standing figure with short round base. The head is pointed with coiffure, scarification and facial features carved in low relief. The body is crudely articulated, probably because it was originally covered with shells or beads. One string of beads encircles the neck, one encircles the waist, and one hangs from each arm. There is evidence of encrustation, especially around the feet. When a Yoruban twin dies, a surrogate fig... more
    A carved wooden male standing figure with short round base. The head is pointed with coiffure, scarification and facial features carved in low relief. The body is crudely articulated, probably because it was originally covered with shells or beads. One string of beads encircles the neck, one encircles the waist, and one hangs from each arm. There is evidence of encrustation, especially around the feet. When a Yoruban twin dies, a surrogate figure (ibeji) is carved to take its place. The parents bathe, anoint, dress and feed the figure regularly to ensure that the spirit of the deceased twin will not bring harm to its surviving twin or any unborn children of the family. Ibeji figures have large heads compared with their bodies because Yorubans place great importance on the head and associate it with a person's destiny. Indigo dye, associated with one's future, is usually rubbed into the carved hair of ibeji figures. Yorubans beilieve that each living person has a spirit double in the sky; twins result when the spirit double is born with a child. Unable to determine which twin is mortal and which is spirit, Yorubans treat each twin as sacred. Yorubans also believe twins contain powerful spirits that can be used for good or for magical purposes. Yorubans are the largest ethnic group in Africa. They have one of the highest rates of twin births in the world. Unfortunately, Yoruban twins also suffer an unusually high mortality rate. African Folk Tales; African Novel Study; Communities and Geography. 16 History; 18 Social Systems; 25-27 Fine Arts. less
  • Format
  • Ibejifigure