Lot: 25185th Tribal Art Auction
Oracle bowl "agere ifa", around 1900
Nigeria, Benin/Dahomey, Porto Novo
|Provenance||Size||Starting price / estimated price|
|H: 13.4 inch||
plus 21 % commission, VAT, transport and insurance
wood, red and black paint, kaolin, male/female couple, warrior with gun and leopard as caryatid figures, flat round bowl with lid and crowning bird sculpture, slightly dam., missing parts (leopard head, bowl rim), cracks, abrasion of paint; divination bowls serve for keeping the 16 holy nuts ("ikin"), which are used for the questioning of the oracle. During the prophecy, the "babalawo" (priest) spreads the "opon ifa" with flour, throws the palm nuts on the board and generates the oracle from the lines drawn on the plate.