Diameter: 42 cm (16 9/16 in.); Overall: 3.2 cm (1 1/4 in.)
Gift of Drs. James and Gladys Strain 1993.235
In Ifa divination, the priest sprinkles wood powder over the smooth inner surface of a wooden tray. As the sacred palm nuts are cast, the diviner records the results by marking the powder with an ivory tapper. The markings reveal the proper chants to be recited. The four faces carved on the tray's rim portray Esu, who bears sacrifices to the gods, and oversees the divination ritual. The kneeling figures are probably petitioners; one has a leashed animal for sacrifice. Other motifs include turtles, curled mudfish, and snails. These creatures, which can survive on land or in water, are symbols of the diviner's ability to connect the human and spiritual realms.
The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.
All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.