Collections: Arts of Africa: Twin Figure

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22.815_bw.jpg CUR.22.815_print_bw.jpg

Twin Figure

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.

  • Culture: Luba
  • Medium: Wood, glass beads, leather tongs, fiber, metal pins
  • Place Made: Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • 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
  • Museum Location: This item is not on view
  • Accession Number: 22.815
  • Credit Line: Brooklyn Museum Collection
  • Rights Statement: Creative Commons-BY
  • 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
  • Image: overall, 22.815_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
  • 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.
  • Record Completeness: Best (83%)
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