Ibeji
Ibeji
Ibeji

Ibeji

1800 to 2000 Nigeria

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A fine male Ibeji carved with his hair plaited and shaved with two circles of hair showing on each side of his head. He wears an unusual type of loincloth tied in the front. Having finely carved feet with hands away from the body. He wears one row of blue and one row of white and red beads around his neck. Beads around the wrists and ankles are mainly white and red. Worn scars show on the face and scars radiate down from umbilicus.
19th century

Egbado / Egba Abeokuta 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. Ibeji. Mareidi & Gert Stoll, 1980. See similar Ibeji illus. 17. 18. 19
The British Museum also has a very similar Ibeji dating from circa 1850 which is one of the earliest known Ibeji examples
Dimensions
Height 23.00 cm (9.06 inches)
Medium
wood
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