A superb and early female Ibeji carved with a long elegant body and arms. Four hair plaits rise up from her head. Some slight damage. She has two metal bangles on each wrist and beads around her waist as well as a carved waistband. With carved eyelashes.
Shaki / Northern Oyo
All of these Ibeji were collected between May, 1958 and March, 1962 by one British collector who encountered his first sculpture in a small market in Oyo whilst he was working in western Nigeria as a biochemist. He subsequently developed an interest in the Yoruba and their religion and whilst continuing to purchase Ibeji he also attended and photographed the Yourba festivals. Through a network of priests and devotees he visited many villages and amassed a personal archive of research material and photographs. This material was used for lectures and some of the photographs were published whilst he was living in the USA. The material was copied by the Museum of Primitive Art and is now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
This personal collection of Ibeji was formed to illustrate the Yoruba sculptural aesthetic, and out of a great interest in the people and their beliefs.
See: no. 4, in this catalogue, carved in the same style and from the same area
cf. Ibeji. Chemeche, 2003. Old Oyo illus. 13. 38 - 40