ritual divination object in the form of an elephant

Itwomba, 19th-20th century

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The Ethel Morrison Van Derlip Fundexpand_more  92.122a,b

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Itwomba are used in special divination rites to identify witches, thieves and adulterers, and to ascertain the cause of an illness or death. A diviner places a drop of oil or other liquid on the smooth, flat surface of the itwomba's back. He then proceeds to rub a small conical disc back and forth over the oil while chanting a sequence of names and formulas. When the disc sticks to the surface, the name that was spoken at that instant is the answer to the diviner's question. Itwomba are usually made in the form of an animal. This itwomba is an elephant.

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Kuba, Itwomba (#371)
Details
Title
Itwomba
Role
Artist
Accession Number
92.122a,b
Curator Approved

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ritual divination object in the form of an elephant