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Yoruba Ibedji (effigies) representing dead twins, Nigeria, West Africa. Some Yoruba tribes revere twins, who are thought to bring luck to household and tribe. The death of one is a great calamity. A wooden figure, called Ibedji, is made to house the spirit of the dead child and be a companion for the surviving twin. The Ibedji figure becomes a cult-object in the family and the mother tends it, offers it food and decks it with beads, cowrie shells, red camwood and other adornments.


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view Yoruba Ibedji (effigies) representing dead twins, Nigeria, West Africa. Some Yoruba tribes revere twins, who are thought to bring luck to household and tribe. The death of one is a great calamity. A wooden figure, called Ibedji, is made to house the spirit of the dead child and be a companion for the surviving twin. The Ibedji figure becomes a cult-object in the family and the mother tends it, offers it food and decks it with beads, cowrie shells, red camwood and other adornments.
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Credit: Yoruba Ibedji (effigies) representing dead twins, Nigeria, West Africa. Some Yoruba tribes revere twins, who are thought to bring luck to household and tribe. The death of one is a great calamity. A wooden figure, called Ibedji, is made to house the spirit of the dead child and be a companion for the surviving twin. The Ibedji figure becomes a cult-object in the family and the mother tends it, offers it food and decks it with beads, cowrie shells, red camwood and other adornments. Credit: Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)


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