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HOME : African & Tribal Art : Yoruba Beaded Works : Yoruba Beaded Leather Diviner's Bag
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Yoruba Beaded Leather Diviner's Bag - PF.5466
Origin: Soutwestern Nigeria
Circa: 20 th Century AD
Dimensions: 32.5" (82.6cm) high x 15" (38.1cm) wide
Collection: African
Medium: Beads and Leather

Location: United States
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The fine beaded work on the front flap depicts two nearly identical faces on the upper portion. Light blue beads provide the background, with red noses, three vertical lines of red scarification on each cheek, and white eyes with black centers. These faces are abstract representations of the deity or deities whom the diviner serves. At the bottom are three chameleons in aqua beads with red eyes. Chameleons are symbols of cleverness and admired for their ability to change themselves to suit the surroundings. Yoruba diviners, including the priests of Ifa, are among the few people permitted to use beaded objects, a privilege reserved primarily for kings. Within the bag (apo ifa), the diviner carries essential tools of his trade, including a divining chain (opele ifa) and palm nuts, which he uses to communicate with spirits in order to advise his patients/supplicants. The power and beauty of this bag attests to the skills of both the diviner and the artist who created the lovely beaded images. - (PF.5466)


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