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HOME : African & Tribal Art : Masterpieces of African Art : Yoruba Diviner's Box in the Form of an Animal
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Yoruba Diviner's Box in the Form of an Animal - PF.4759
Origin: Southwestern Nigeria
Circa: 1860 BC to 1910 AD
Dimensions: 10" (25.4cm) high x 25" (63.5cm) wide
Collection: African
Style: Yoruba
Medium: Wood


Additional Information: Hong Kong

Location: Great Britain
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Description
Divination plays a very important part of daily life in Yoruba society. Diviners use a container, called “Agere-Ifa,” for holding or storing sacred Ifa divination palm-kernel nuts, or for holding gifts generally of kola nuts. This attractive container is fashioned as an abstract animal with a lid. The interior is divided into three sections, with two center dividers each having two small compartments normally holding sixteen sacred palm-kernel nuts of divination called “Ikin.” Both the Ifa priest and their clients contribute to the iconographic and aesthetic features of Agere sculpture. The lines within triangles imitating an animal's skin and the delightful facial features combine to create an object that is both very charming and powerful; retaining still the magic of the Ifa priests. - (PF.4759)

 

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