ASK THE EXPERT - NOV 2016
Claudine would like to know the origin and the degree of rarity of this pair of Ibeji.
Some carvers from Ilorin (Oyo) are well known because they copied the styles of the carvers of the nearby villages. They also add some carving details to make their artwork different from the originals. The most common detail of the Ilorin carvers was the addition of geometric incisions around the base. This is the case of the pair shown here. The carver copied the characteristics of the carvers of the Igbuke family from Oyo, but he modified substantially the base. He also added some personal touches to personalize the carving. For instance, the band around the head with zigzagging incisions, below the hairstyle, or the lack of scarification centered on the navel. This is then a pair of Ibeji from Ilorin and it is a rare variation of the file 771 of the Catalogue of the Ibeji. Congratulations to the lucky collector of this pair, which is also, from the photo, very well carved.