Ka-Bari (pl. Ta-Bari)

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Temne word for 'twin'. Also refers to small wooden figures carved to represent twins. Twins are believed by the Temne to possess special spiritual powers that can become injurious to those about them if they are not treated with proper consideration. In the event of the death of a twin, therefore, the mother will often have a twin figure carved to represent the twin who has died and, whenever the live twin is washed or adorned or fed, the twin figure is also washed adorned and fed, so that the dead twin will not be jealous and take out its resentment against its twin or family.

  • N.W.Thomas, Anthropological Report on Sierra Leone (London 1916), 112-114.
  • F.J.Lamp,'Temne twins (ta-bari) should share everything', African Arts, 2008, 41, 1, 50-65.