Image Gallery → All Images

  • Beaded Doll (Ham Pilu)
  • Beaded Apron
  • Beaded Apron
  • Beaded Apron
  • Elephant Mask
  • Man's Prestige Hat (ashetu)
  • Face Mask
  • Male Royal Ancestor Mask
  • Kuba Belt
  • Kuba Belt
  • Kuba Belt
  • Sash with Triangular Pendant
  • Hat (Mpaan)
  • Hat
  • Beaded Coronet
  • Beaded Coronet
  • Beaded Coronet
  • Female Twin Figure
  • Royal Slippers
  • Divination Tapper
  • Beaded Crown (adenla)
  • Diviner's Bag
  • Seated Female Figure
  • Fertility Figure
  • Small Bag
  • Doll
  • Bride's Apron
  • Bride's Apron
  • Ndebele Doll
  • Ndebele Doll
  • Ndebele Doll
  • Dance Staff
  • Dance Staff
  • Married Woman's Apron
  • Gala Blanket
  • Child Figure
  • Wrap Skirt
  • Diviner's Headdress
  • Man's Wedding Apron
  • Lidded Vessel
  • Lidded Vessel
  • Lidded Vessel (Beer Pot)
  • Beaded Panel
  • Beaded Panel
  • Beaded Panel
  • Beaded Panel
  • Beaded Panel
  • Beaded Panel
  • Beaded Panel
  • Beaded Panel
  • Beaded Panel
  • Beaded Panel
  • Man's Back Tie
  • Beaded Panel
  • Beaded Panel Pin
  • Doll
  • Woman's Tobacco Bag
  • Woman's Purse
  • Woman's Belt
  • Woman's Apron
  • Child Figure
  • Bridal Walking Stick
  • Child's Apron
  • Wedding Cape
  • Married Woman's Belt
  • Young Matron's Dress
  • Koranic Amulet
  • Beaded Earflap
  • Beaded Earflap
Diviner's Bag

Diviner's Bag (apo Ifa)

Yoruba people
Nigeria
20th Century
Cloth, glass beads, leather
Museum purchase, funds provided by the Caroline Julier and James G. Richardson Art Acquisition Fund
9 ¾ x 9 ¾ x 1 ½ in. (24.8 x 24.8 x 3.8 cm)
with strap: 19 ¾ x 9 ¾ x 1 ½ in. (50.2 x 24.8 x 3.8 cm)
2003.34

Bags such as this would be used to carry a diviner's paraphernalia, such as palm nuts, diving chain and tapper. Beaded objects are generally the prerogative of royalty, and the importance of diviners as negotiators between the world of the living and the realm of the supernatural is underscored by their possession of beaded accoutrements. Certain colors and designs on beaded items reference Yoruba cosmology. The face is a symbol of the ancestors and recalls their sacred authority. The interlace pattern is a royal symbol that alludes to the role of Ifa. Triangles or zigzags reference the thunderbolts of the god Shango in red, and his wife Oya, in yellow. Blue and white are related to Orunmila, the god of wisdom, who is associated with divination.

PO Box 1122700
SW 34th Street and Hull Rd
Gainesville, FL 32611-2700

Contact Us:
Phone - 352.392.9826
Fax - 352.392.3892