Lot: 256

91 Tribal Art Auction

Large divination tray "opon ifa"

Nigeria, Yoruba

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
Roland Hartmann, St. Gallen, Switzerland D: 19.1 inch 600 EUR
plus 23 % commission, VAT, transport and insurance

wood, The Yoruba typically turn to a "babalawo" (diviner) when seeking advice or faced with an illness. During the divination process, a "babalawo" spreads a layer of wood flour "iyerosun" - created by termites, across the surface of the "opon Ifa". Sixteen sacred palm nuts (or a divination chain - "opele ifa") are shaken to reveal wisdom and communication from "Orunmila". These verses ("odu") are then transferred onto the dusted tray, translated and recited by the "babalawo" for the client to reflect upon and take action.