A girl is abandoned in a stream at birth, some distance away from where she is born. However, throughout the years she is tortured by her adopted mother who feels her father favours her.
In turn her twin sister who is a princess feels her pain. Each time she is tortured her sister is tortured as well. To the point that a traditional medicine man leads her back to her roots, the kingdom where she is born.
Her father the king accepts her back while knowing that having twins in the kingdom will bring calamity to the land. And indeed in the events that follow all first born sons in the kingdom die because the king has accepted to keep his twin girls in the kingdom. Because of his love for his children he is forced to keep them although it becomes a dilemma when his own son is seriously sick and he has to make a choice, to keep the twins or banish them from the land.
Although the birth of twins is often a welcome event today, this has not always been the case. Other cultures have many complex beliefs regarding the biological and spiritual natures of twins.
Whether twins are identical or fraternal, the science of their formation in the womb is unique. The likelihood of twins is affected by factors such as fertility treatments, family history, age and previous pregnancies.
According to hornblend.com it has been postulated that the higher rates of twin births in Nigeria may be partially due to the consumption of yams. A common staple food in Nigeria, yams contain phytoestrogen, a natural hormone which may stimulate the ovaries to produce an egg from each side.
According to a 1995 study by Belgian researcher Fernand Leroy, who has worked extensively with twins, the average worldwide rate of twin births or pregnancies usually falls between 0.5 to 1.2 percent of all pregancies. However, a 10% rate has been reported for Linha São Pedro in Brazil. Other localities with comparably high rates are Igbo-Ora in Yoruba land (reportedly as high as 150 per 1000 births) in Nigeria and Kodinji in India.
Mary Slessor a Scottish missionary from a simple background shocked many missionaries by living with the local people. “One of her achievements – perhaps her most significant – was to stop the killing of twins. The people of this region of Nigeria believed that twins were cursed and that the mother of twins had been visited by an evil spirit or slept with two men. In certain parts of Igbo land, it was also believed that twins were an evil omen which could only be counteracted by killing one of the twins.”
This is probably where the movie alluded to earlier was referred to, Igbo land.
Another interesting thing that the article on hornblend.com discusses is the significance of twins in Yoruba culture.
“In the Yoruba culture, twins are thought to have divine powers and the capability to hurt those who upset them. As such, twins are often treated with special affection, and are regarded as special gifts from God and as bearers of good luck,” reads the article in part.
“Yoruba twins are named according to their birth order, with the firstborn twin called Taiyewo [shortened to Taiwo] meaning ‘the first to taste the world’, and the second-born twin called Kehinde, ‘the last to come’. These are their ‘celestial’ Yoruba names dictated by their birth circumstances.
“When the twins are born, Kehinde sends Taiwo to check out what life is like on earth and to tell him or her whether it will be good. Therefore, Taiwo becomes the first child to be born. He/she then communicates to Kehinde spiritually, through the nature of his/her crying, whether life will be good or bad. The reply determines if Kehinde will be born alive or stillborn. Both twins will be stillborn, returning to where they came from, if Taiwo’s reply is not good enough for both of them. The Yoruba traditionally say that Kehinde is the true elder of the twins despite being the second-born, because Kehinde sends Taiwo on an errand, a prerogative of one’s elders in Yoruba land.”
However, in contrast today’s woman would rather have a multiple birth so that she will undergo the birth experience once.