A Pair of Ere Ibeji Twins
Abeokuta city, Nigeria
The male is 22 cms high and the female is 23 cms high.
Memorial images of deceased twins were carved throughout Yorubaland. The carved images contained the essence of the departed twin and maintained the connection between the living and dead twin and the family. They were fed and cared for and helped protect the house from evil.
This pair is carved in the distinctive style of Abeokuta city and were probably carved in the Eshubiyi workshop. A distinctive feature of the workshop was the oversized curled hands touching at the fingertips, as seen here. The ornate hairstyles with multiple plaits are intricately and finely carved, another feature of the workshop. The sensitively carved figures are dressed with red thread earrings and beaded wristlets, the male figure also sports a beaded neck piece.They were once clothed, as can be seen in the difference in patina between the upper and lower bodies.
For an in-depth discussion of Abeokuta Ere ibeji by Tim Chappel, focusing on a very closely related example see: