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HOME : African & Tribal Art : Yoruba Divination Bowls : Yoruba Wooden Divination Tray
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Yoruba Wooden Divination Tray - PF.4822
Origin: Southwestern Nigeria
Circa: 20 th Century AD
Dimensions: 1" (2.5cm) high x 13" (33.0cm) wide
Collection: African Art
Medium: Wood

Location: United States
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The divination tray is both art and utilitarian device, reflecting the complex Yoruba cosmos and the interplay between the physical and metaphysical realms. A talented diviner can serve as an interpreter and intermediary between living individuals and spirit entities. In the proper practice of divination, perfect balance must be achieved in order to open 'passage-ways' of communication. This delicate equilibrium can be seen in the construction of the trays themselves, such as this handsome example. It's oval shape is like a mirror, a window into the unknown. The face at the top is the image of Esu, the divine messenger who must be placated. While moving sand and other objects around the tray with a taper, the diviner is in touch with Esu, cajoling the deity to bring forth information vital to a client. The six bands of ridges segmented by a jagged center are in stark contrast to the smooth surface of the center, and shows the interplay between diverse forces. Contrasting elements of the universe are here brought together in the center, where perfect balance is achieved for a happy future. - (PF.4822)


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