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Twin Figure

Arts of Africa

The Luba believe that twins, called "children of the moon," have supernatural powers and can be the harbingers of both good and evil. Twins must be honored and appeased through songs, prayers, blessings, and gifts made each month on the night of a new moon. Figures like this commemorate the spirit of a twin, and the insertion of an iron pin in the top of the head is intended to contain and channel the spirit within.

MEDIUM Wood, glass beads, leather tongs, fiber, metal pins
DATES late 19th or early 20th century
DIMENSIONS 7 7/8 x 2 3/4 x 2 3/4 in. (20 x 7 x 7 cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Arts of Africa
CREDIT LINE Brooklyn Museum Collection
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION The object is a twin fetish figure with a flat base, a cylindrical body, and a hollow dome top. The dome has cutout sections, linear decoration, and a strand of large beads. Wrapped around the top and bottom of the cylindrical body are strands of smaller beads. The object has an oily surface and several cracked beads. It is in stable and good condition.
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Luba. Twin Figure, late 19th or early 20th century. Wood, glass beads, leather tongs, fiber, metal pins, 7 7/8 x 2 3/4 x 2 3/4 in. (20 x 7 x 7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Museum Collection, 22.815. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 22.815_bw.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 22.815_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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