Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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ere ibeji (twin figure)
  • Yoruba peoples
  • ere ibeji (twin figure), late 1800s–1969
  • Where object was made: Nigeria
  • wood, pigment, beads, carving
  • Object Height/Width/Depth: 26 x 8.5 x 9 cm
    Object Height/Width/Depth: 10 1/4 x 3 3/8 x 3 1/2 in
  • Gift from the Menninger Foundation
  • On view: Kress Gallery, 407, E4
  • 2007.2718
Label Text

The standing male figure has a flattened, pointed hairstyle decorated with bright blue pigment, possibly laundry bluing, and covered in a crosshatch design and three horizontal lines at the bottom edge. The figure has very large eyes and both cheeks are decorated with scarification patterns of four horizontal lines and three vertical lines. The center of the eyes have small holes that may be intended to depict the pupils or may be holes from missing nails, which were often used to decorate ibeji figures. The torso is carved to depict the figure's nipples, navel and penis, and there are several vertical scarification lines on the figure's lower abdomen. Around the figure's neck is a string of disc-shaped red beads. Around the waist is a string of black disc-shaped beads. On the figure's right arm is a string of blue beads. On the figure's left arm is a string of blue beads with red and white lines.