Ibeji Twin (single), Yoruba, Nigeria
Patinated dark wood, cowrie shells and cord
H: 23 cm (9,1″), W: 7,5 cm (3″)
The Yoruba, a people of around 2.5 million individuals, live mainly in
the southwest of Nigeria and the south of Benin. The Yoruba are known for having an extraordinarily high rate of multiple births. The rate of twin births is one of the highest in the world. There is also a high mortality rate; half of the twins die shortly after birth. Among the Yoruba, twins (ibeji) are special children whose birth can bless their parents with good fortune. The loss of twins is therefore considered a great misfortune. If a twin dies, the mother commissions a memorial figure (two if both twins die), and the soul of the deceased twin is transferred to it.
Provenance: Private Danish collection. It was either acquired directly from Lau (Laurence) Sunde’s collection in Copenhagen, which dates back to the 1940s, or Lau (Laurence) Sunde was an adviser to the collector.
Sunde had a “Etnografica” boutique in 1948, that became recognized among collectors as the most specialized boutique of its kind at the time. Tribal and oriental artefacts were purchased from private collectors as well as at auctions in Paris, Amsterdam and London, among other places.
Full description of Lau (Laurence) Sunde will be forwarded by request.
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