Yoruba Divination Board, Nigeria
Dimensions: 10.5" high by 15" wide by 0.75" deep
Includes custom-made stand measuring 12.25" wide by 4" deep.
Title: Ifa Divination Tray (Opon Ifa)
Material: Carved Wood
The ritual of divination, called Ifa, forms the basis for
the Yoruba religion. Performed by highly trained
priests, called babalowo, "fathers of the secret". Using
16 palm nuts, Ifa priests "cast Ifa" to determine which
oral literature verses (odu Ifa) to recite in response to
questions or problems. The wooden tray is bordered
by relief carvings and features the face of Eshu, the
messenger of the Gods. The 8 marks of an Odu If a are
then made in the iyerosun wood dust sprinkled on the
tray, and the pertinent verses associated with the Odu
are chanted. There are 256 possible combinations (16
X 16). He will cast Ifa again to determine what sacrifices
must be made, and to whom, so that life can be continually happy.
The God Orunmila, who was present at the creation of
the world by Olodumare, is consulted for his wisdom.
Thus Orunmila knows the secret of creation, and how
to cope with the powers of good & evil. When he left
the earth, he left behind the sacred palm nuts, so that
the future generations might communicate with him.