A superbly carved female Ibeji with unusually long legs and beautifully proportioned arms with her fingers touching the top of her legs. Striped black beads around the neck, yellow and red beads around the waist, as well as ostrich shell beads. She also has a carved waistband. Radiating scars from the umbilicus and a series of ‘V’ shaped scars carved on her stomach. Having a simple hairdo going back to knots at the rear. An exceptional and individualistically carved figure.
Abeokuta / Egba / Egbado ? (the hands are typical for the area)
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.
cf. In Ibeji by Mareidi & Gert Stoll, 1980, there are a pair of Ibeji from the Shaki area which also have mixed visual signals, illus. 137