ère ìbejì (Figure)

About this object

History of use

This type of plastic "lotte doll" is now sometimes used in Yoruba practices, in place of a traditional wooden figure. Ère Ìbejì is normally a wooden figure that was carved in honour of a twin who died. Yorubas believe that twins share a soul, so the family was to treat the figure as they would if the twin was still physically present. As a result, the twin was fed, washed and cared for.

Physical description

Bright green plastic doll (representing an ibeji figure), in the form of a female with short hair, wearing a knee-length dress with short sleeves and a ruffled collar. Dress is belted at the waist, with a bow tied at the back centre. Dress has a row of buttons running down the back, from the collar to the belt. Figure has a necklace with large heart-shaped pendant. Doll is holding a toy bear in her right arm, with her left arm straight along her side. Wearing knee-length socks, with a square pattern, and plain shoes. The piece is hollow and was moulded, the centre seam is visible along all sides. Hole in top centre of head, with a black plastic plug.