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HOME : African & Tribal Art : African Musical Instruments : Yoruba Ivory Iroke Ifa Divination Tapper and Rattle
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Yoruba Ivory Iroke Ifa Divination Tapper and Rattle - PF.2899
Origin: Southwestern Nigeria
Circa: 19 th Century AD to 20 th Century AD
Dimensions: 8.75" (22.2cm) high x 1.125" (2.9cm) wide
Collection: African
Medium: Ivory

Location: UAE
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The worn surface of this Ifa tapper ('Iroke Ifa') is evidence of long use by a diviner, a " father of ancient wisdom" (Babalawo). Diviners use the tapper to strike the center of the divination tray at the outset of divination to invoke cosmic forces and to emphasize points during their commentary and interpretation of Ifa's orature. The end of the tapper has a clapper, thus transforming the tapper into a bell and providing a different sound for invocations and songs during ceremonies. The motif of a kneeling male holding instruments is a gesture of supplication, greeting, respect and devotion-- all attitudes appropriate for one who comes to Ifa to address important matters. The marks on his cheeks may indicate regional, community, or lineal affiliations, royal/non-royal status or beautification (Drewal, 1988). - (PF.2899)


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