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.
Wood, glass beads, leather tongs, fiber, metal pins
late 19th or early 20th century
7 7/8 x 2 3/4 x 2 3/4 in. (20 x 7 x 7 cm) (show scale)
This item is not on view
Brooklyn Museum Collection
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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)
overall, 22.815_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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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.
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