IBEJI! In Yoruba Culture, Twins Are Believed To Bring Wealth To Parents Through Their Supernatural Power • illuminaija
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IBEJI! In Yoruba Culture, Twins Are Believed To Bring Wealth To Parents Through Their Supernatural Power

IBEJI! In Yoruba Culture, Twins Are Believed To Bring Wealth To Parents Through Their Supernatural Power

Yorubas worship ibeji as a god. This god is portrayed by two wooden figures. This happens because the two figures represent the twin children traditionally known as Taiyewo and Kehinde.

The ibeji god is given sacrifices of beans and vegetable soup. The twins’ parents make sacrifices to the ibeji god at least until the mother gives birth to another baby after delivery of the ibejis.

This other child is known as Idowu, otherwise referred to as esu lehin ibeji, (trickster behind twins) because the Idowus are usually very difficult children.

Traditionally, the Yorubas regard ibejis as divine children who are capable of bringing affluence to either or both of their parents or impoverishing them according to how well they are treated.

IBEJI! In Yoruba Culture, Twins Are Believed To Bring Wealth To Parents Through Their Supernatural Power

The ibeji children are usually not interested in their parents’ occupation. However, at times, they may influence the parents’ choice. This is especially true of the ibeji mothers.

When the parents go to a fetish priest to inquire about the sickness of the children it is the mother who must yield to the occupational preference of her children in order to aid in their cure.

Often instead of introducing an entirely new occupation to their mother, the ibejis add one or two other small occupations to the already existing main one, such as the hawking of red palm-oil, the selling of salt, beans, etc.

Often the ibeji may tell its mother to dance about begging for alms. This type of ibeji is known as “Onijo,” that is “dancers,” although the ibejis do not dance themselves.

If the mother fails to accomplish the ibejis’ wish, the result might be permanent sickness of the twins or their ultimate death, which is, of course, terribly painful to the mother. Also, the mother may fall sick and eventually die.

The ibeji children are rather festive. And so every week, fortnightly or monthly the twins’ mother makes a feast for her children. This is a sacrifice to the ibeji god.

This sacrifice is offered with some of the following foods: beans, red palm-oil, vegetables, pumpkins, sugarcane, cake and ekuru. All are welcome in this sacrificial feast, especially die neighbouring children.

In hard times, the ibeji give their parents money through their supernatural power. The mother may either find the money on a footpath, by the roadside, or on her bed. It is possible that one of the twin-children may give her the money face to face.

Ibeji children are not referred to as being dead by their parents. Instead, they are said to have gone to a commercial town to bring wealth home for their parents.

Usually. when one of the twins dies, the deceased is said to have gone to Lagos to bring clothes for the surviving twin and the parents. Perhaps this is to dissuade the survivor from going to meet its twin in death.

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