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HOME : African & Tribal Art : Yoruba Divination Bowls : Yoruba Wooden Diviner's Bowl
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Yoruba Wooden Diviner's Bowl - PF.4816
Origin: Southwestern Nigeria
Circa: 20 th Century AD
Dimensions: 10.25" (26.0cm) high x 16.75" (42.5cm) wide
Collection: African Art
Medium: Wood

Location: United States
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The priests of Ifa use bowls to contain magical ingredients necessary for their divination. A bowl such as this one is not merely a container, but an object with its own power and a suitable receptacle for holding precious items. The faces surrounding the rim are probably an abstract representation of the god Ifa, who stands at the doorway between the real and non-real worlds. It is this deity who must be consulted during divination in order to be in touch with ancestral and other spirits. If a diviner is able to make suitable contact he can then find information related to a client's problems, whether it be concerned with illness, fertility or loss. The outside of the bowl may be compared to the circularity of the universe, while the inside is compartmentalized as are the various aspects of existence on the human level. To hold this bowl and feel its rough hewn quality brings one into a direct relation with the most basic forces of earth, nature, human ingenuity and the spirits which run through all of life. - (PF.4816)


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