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Ifá Divination Container (Agere Ifá)

African Art

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Ifá Divination Container (Agere Ifá)

Artwork Details


Yoruba Artist, Ketu, Nigeria


Late nineteenth–early twentieth


Wood and pigment

Accession #



7 1/2 x 7 1/4 x 7 1/4 inches


On View - Stent Family Wing, Skyway, Gallery 401


This divination bowl was used for storing the sacred palm nuts used for divination. Its center of attention is a horseman flanked by a warrior holding a sword and a woman with a child on her back. Behind the warrior is a dùndún drummer. Following the woman is another warrior holding a gun and carrying a keg of alcohol or gunpowder. The container’s imagery evokes a popular prayer to Òrúnmìlà:

Ifa, let me ride horseback in triumph.
I am Boroye, the first prince of Ado.
Ifa, let me ride horseback in triumph.


Gift of Bernard and Patricia Wagner