The Yoruba of Nigeria have one of the world’s highest twin birthrates and revere them as potent spirits called ere ibeji, literally meaning sacred images (ere) born (ibi) as two (eji). Twins who die from low birth weights and the high Nigerian infant mortality rate are honored with carved wood memorial images (Ibejis) that retain their spirit and are accessible to those wishing to connect with them. Extraordinary spirit beings housing the soul of a deceased twin, Ibejis are protected by the Sango the deity of Thunder, draw spiritual energy from the supernatural world and bring wealth, prosperity and fertility to their families.

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  • Vintage Carved Ibeji with Necklace, Africa, Nigeria Yoruba (1964BHA) $475

    H: 9.625″  W: 3″  D: 3″ | FREE SHIPPING!

    This vintage Ibeji carved image portrays a simple yet strong elegance with his characteristic large conical head, long curved neck and elaborately striated hairstyle. His extremely large round bulging eyes under heavy lids, flaring nose, full lips, and large flat ears reflect the Yoruba idealized form of beauty and exemplify being a correct and upstanding example of tribal values. His prominent genitalia and buttocks and his sturdy vertical stance on wide feet, thick legs and strong rounded shoulders and arms symbolize his strength and fertility. Scarification patterns appear on his cheeks and forehead, and he wears a necklace with traditional Yoruba blue and multi colored beadwork.

  • Vintage Wood Carved Ibeji with High Round Hat, Nigeria, Yoruba (1965BHA) $385


    Ibeji carvings from Nigeria are idealized folk art conforming to Yoruba artistic and cultural conventions without closely reflecting human likenesses. Symmetrical and restrained with oversized elongated heads where one’s spirit,…

  • Vintage Yoruba Ere Ibeji with High Round Hat, Nigeria (1963BHA) $385

    H: 7.125″  W: 2.125″  D: 2.25″ | Free Shipping!

    This small finely carved hardwood has distinctive Yoruba Ibeji features. The elongated head is flat with full lips, thick eyelids, incised lashes, flat prominent ears and the nose and chin are centered with cheeks and eyes on opposite sides of a thin conical head. A stylized coiffure divides each side into sections with plaited linear designs and scarifications appear across his face and often on his body. The strong stance with hands on his hips is supported by massive legs low to the ground, his member is visible, the buttocks jut outward and both are signs of his fertility and power as are his thick rounded shoulders and arms.

  • Vintage Yoruba Ere Ibeji with Thick Sandals, Nigeria (1967LAE) $485

    H: 9.5″  W: 3.25″  D: 3″ | FREE SHIPPING!

    This Nigerian tribal carving displays the distinctive Yoruba artistic and cultural conventions of Ere Ibeji images.  It is symmetrical and restrained with an oversized and elongated conical-shaped head about a third of the figure’s body. He has characteristic round bulging eyes with thick eyelids, triangular incised lashes, flared nostrils, prominent ears, full smiling lips and scarification on each cheek. His coiffure is detailed with parallel vertical plaits on both sides. The necklace with large triangular pendants covers his chest and back, and his covered genitals and triangular shaped buttocks are signs of his fertility. His power is reinforced by short, massive legs, unusually wide arms and strong shoulders, and his remarkably high thick sandals make him appear taller and add to the uniqueness of this impressive vintage piece.


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