Tregeagle Fine Art

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Ewe People, Venovi Twin Votive Statuette

£125.00

Code: 10444

Dimensions:

H: 20.6cm (8.1")



A carved wooden "Venovi" twin statuette
Ewe People, Gabon or Togo
Early 20th Century
Measures (approx.) 20.6 cm high (including plinth)

Provenance:
Private collection Oxfordshire, U.K.

Carved from light wood into the form of a female. The hair parted and stained. Breasts, eyebrows, navel and feet stained. Ears pierced for decoration (now absent). Arms carved by sides; hands with carved fingers. Now mounted on an acrylic plinth.

This statuette was made by Ewe people of Gabon​​​​​/Togo. These figuringes, which occupy a similar role to the ibedji fetish statuettes of Nigeria's Yoruba people, are called "venovi" or "venavi". With high rates of gemellary pregnancies, the Ewe attach great importance to twins. Should a twin ever be lost in childbirth a figurine is carved to represent the lost child and look over and protect the remaining one.  The figure, which represents the sex of the deceased child, is placed within a shrine to be cared for and venerated.