Project Description

In Nigeria, the Yoruba peoples see twins as possessing magical qualities. Twins are believed to be descendants of Shango, the thunder god, and are therefore known as Thunder Children. In the native tongue of the Yoruba peoples twins are known as Ibejis. If a twin dies a figure is created to house the spirit and to bring peace to the family. These figures would be the same gender and possess the same facial scarifications as the deceased twin. If the mother were still living after the twin had died she would prepare sacrificial feasts for the Ibeji, bathe it, and take care of it like a living child. If the mother had died also, the surviving twin would take her place and perform these tasks for the Ibeji. Ibeji’s vary in style and tribal scarification based on personal traits and artistic preference.

-Haley Boothe, Class of 2016

Object Details

Yoruba Tribe in Nigeria
20th cen.
11" x 2 3/4"
Wood and cowry shells
Gift of Eric and Signe Hanson