Ibeji mean "twin" in Yoruba. One soul two bodies. Twin are considered magical. My mother gave me these as a symbol of the birth of my twins. This isn't the first set that she has given me but this is my favorite.
Aminah is the one in the purple and I keep them in a special place in my home. Normally what the Africans do is have wood carvings made of the twin that passed and they keep them in sacred places and they do rituals with the Ibeji's as remembrance and spiritual balance for the surviving twin.
The culture believes that the second twin born is a spiritual messenger to the first twin before entrance into the world. What the Yoruba tribe believes is before both twins are born the second twin tells the first twin to show if the world or life will be good or bad by crying in the spiritual world. Based on the cries in the spiritual world before the birth of the first twin will determine if the second twin will be born alive or stillborn.
The Yoruba tribe also believes that the second twin born is the elder because it sends the first twin on a spiritaul errand. They also believe that the first twin is the quieter and calmer of the two. When twins are born they carry one soul the same soul. One is considered to be the spiritual one and the other is considered the mortal one. A lot of people of the village experience high child death rates and they believe that if one twins passes at a young age the surviving twin will be off balance so many women of the village do rituals with the Ibeji wooden carvings to balance the soul of the existing twin.
I find it beautiful that although I was born in American sub consciously my mother and I are still carrying out a genetic spiritual religion from a far away land. Although these are just dolls I feel apart of the Yoruba tribe. My long lost home. I will make sure that I keep these type of sacred items for my daughter and teach her of her existence and birth experience which makes her so very important and special. I will always let her know that she will always and forever be an Ibeji.