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Divination Implement

late 1800s–early 1900s
Overall: 11.4 x 3.4 x 4.8 cm (4 1/2 x 1 5/16 x 1 7/8 in.)
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Location: not on view

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This divination implement is a kakishi (embodiment of an ancestor) device that connects the diviner and the client to the spirit they wish to contact.


This device helped contact an ancestral spirit who clarified misfortunes. The diviner awakened the ancestor by anointing the rectangular frame of the figurine with pungent basil leaves. Sitting on a textured woven mat, the diviner held one side of the instrument while the client held the other. The diviner then posed questions to the ancestor who responded through certain movement signaling affirmation.
Divination Implement

Divination Implement

late 1800s–early 1900s

Africa, Central Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo, Luba-style maker

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