The Yoruba are a major African ethnic group where, within their culture, twins are very important beings. In their language ibeji means twins as well as the carved wooden figures made to house the soul of a dead twin. They are known to have the highest rate of twin births in the world, 45 of every 1,000 births, (in the U.S. it is 28.9 of every 1,000) as is the mortality rate; half of the twins die shortly after birth. The wooden figures are carved with the family mask and are often well tended to because the Yoruba people believe that this care helps ensure the survival of the other twin. They believe both twins share one soul, so if one twin dies at a young age, the balance of the soul is thrown off or disturbed so a ritual is carried out to put the twin’s soul back into balance.