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L. Pescador, 1995

 

 

 

 

 

ERE IBEJI YORUBA
by Giancarlo Matta

Editor: Gaspari Editore

Language: Bilingual text in Italian and English
Serie
: Artes africanae. Quaderni. Quaderno II.
Publication:
12/2009
Pages: 47
Price: € 20,00
ISBN-13:
9788875411817
ISBN:
8875411816

 

 

In the complex pantheon of the Yoruba, where several gods and spirits play a fundamental role, in the XIX century was established the cult of twins. In case of the death of the twins, small wooden figures called "ere ibeji" were carved to replace the dead twins.

These small figures were treated daily as though they were living children with love and care. They were fed, rubbed with resin or ointments, embellished with beads or metal rings and sometimes dressed with beaded gowns or cowrie cloaks.

The continuos handling of these small statues by relatives over the time, sometimes gradually wore away the features giving them a mysterious and enchanting look. In addition, as a result of this, the ibeji figures also acquired a charming aspect due to a characteristic brilliant usage patina.

In this piece of literary work, we introduce you to the ibeji tradition and history, as well as present a very interesting example of the varied artistic styles of the vast Yorubaland.

 

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