Filled with white chalk-a symbol of the moon, purity, renewal, and the spirit world-this bowl-bearing figure functioned as an oracle for a royal diviner who used it to reveal the origin of problems brought to his attention. The diviner would dispense to his patient a mixture of medicinal substances and chalk from the bowl. The female figure was typically identified as the wife of the diviner's possessing spirit, thus expressing the belief that women were the most powerful spirit containers in both life and art. In fact, the diviner's actual wife often acted as an intermediary in the consultation. The sculpture also served to protect and heal the village as a whole.