Fon Hohovi "Twin" Memorial Figure by The "Master of the Blue Shorts Carver", Benin / Togo #598
- Fon Hohovi "Twin" Memorial Figure by The "Master of the Blue Shorts Carver", Benin / Togo #598
- Among the Ewe, these representations are named Venavi, whereas they are named Hohovi among the Fon.
- Fon and Ewe Peoples practice Twin Worship, very similar to that of the Yoruba, and it is in this context that these statuettes are crafted, in very varied styles sometimes, depending on the influences of their neighbors (the Akan, in Ghana, the Yoruba in Nigeria...).
- Measurements: 18×10×6 cm
- Condition: Good
- Materials: carved from lightweight wood, patina of wear and Ritual Use, enamel paint used to elaborate the Figure's Spirit.
- Fon Culture incorporated culture and shared ideas with Ethnic Groups that have been their historical neighbors. Many of their practices are found among Yoruba People, Akan People, Ewe People.
- Twin Figures are revered in many Cultures. The modern appearance is explained by the fact that Deceased Twin(s) are seen as Living People. The Figures wear shoes, trousers and other personal objects. No one ever says a Twin has died. They say "he or she is in the bush fetching fire wood." This means that they are not far and will come back soon.
- Twins are considered to be Immortal. From Birth on they are considered to be Gods or Spirits, and must always get special care.
- If Hohovi or Venavi Figures are to be of any benefit, they must be housed and looked after particularly well by their Survivors. They must be given the best food, drink and clothes. One tries to spoil them in every possible way, in order for them to display their abilities for the benefit of the Family, rather than making them feel so neglected that they might do harm.
- Among some groups, such as the Yoruba in Nigeria, the Ewe in Togo, and the Fon in Benin, an important Twin Cult has sprung up. Twins are regarded as the Chosen Ones of the Spirit Powers. Their amazing closeness, which is believed to survive even after Death, is stressed. The Yoruba believe that Twins have a Joint Soul. If one dies, the other Twin is also threatened with Death.Their Soul has lost its equilibrium and sways between This World and the Next. The Deceased Twin determinedly tries to pull the survivor over to him as soon as possible. That has to be opposed. Not only do the parents put more effort than ever into the Surviving Child , they also try to keep the Deceased One in their midst.
- Brian's Note: This particular Venavi, and several others similar to Him, are carved by a Sculptor-Artist I affectionately refer to as The "Master of the Blue Shorts Carver".
- Origin is Benin / Togo