Ibeji with beaded gown
Wood, glass beads, cloth, thread, camwood powder, pigment
H: 36 cm, W: 9.5 cm, D: 9.0 cm (H: 14.1 in, W: 3.7 in, D: 3.5 in)
Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift in memory of Barbara Jean Jacoby. X86.1085a-d
This pair of memorial figures, as well as their beaded cloaks, were created by the same artist. The tripartite composition of the garments may be a symbolic reference to twins followed by the next child who would be called Idowu, Esu l’ehin ibeji (Idowu, the Esu that follows twins). The central form in one of the beaded garments is a head, with two eyes represented by white beads. The second garment is similar, but more abstract.
Source: Drewal, H., Mason, J. (1998). “Beads, Body, and Soul – Art and Light in the Yoruba Universe”, Los Angeles: UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History. page 252