Affinity in the African Gallery

One of two twin figures, Ibeji
by the Master of the Owu Shango Shrine. Yoruba, Nigeria.
Wood, beads; 28.5cm (11.3″)
Denver Art Museum

Karyn says: “At the ARLIS conference in 2008, we attended a party at the Denver Art Museum, and I started crying in the African Gallery in front of the exhibit case you can see right in the center of this photo:

Inside the case is a Yoruba sculpture of a deceased twin (an Ibeji) and I felt so sad thinking both of the lost twin and of the remaining one, whose soul the Ibeji is supposed to appease, that I started crying. I think what really got to me was imagining that now, with the Ibeji halfway around the world on another continent in Denver, it might be even harder for the twins to find each other. (Glasses of party wine might also have been involved.) My colleagues were very kind about it, if puzzled!”