Necklace (Odigba Ifa)

A work made of glass beads, cloth, and leather.

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  • A work made of glass beads, cloth, and leather.

Date:

Late 19th/early 20th century

Artist:

Yoruba
Southwest Nigeria
Coastal West Africa

About this artwork

By wearing a beaded necklace, a Yoruba diviner is likened to a king. Because of this, the making of a diviner’s necklace, like a king’s beaded crown, calls for supreme artistry and the enactment of rituals of blessing and activation. The hundreds of multicolored beads on a diviner’s necklace symbolize the myriad elements that animate the universe. The beaded cylinders of the necklace’s chain are made of wood from a sacred tree that is said to ensure a long and prosperous life. Other medicines are inserted into its flat pendants. When the necklace is worn, these sit protectively at the base of the diviner’s neck and on his or her chest.

On View

Arts of Africa, Gallery 137

Artist

Yoruba

Title

Necklace (Odigba Ifa)

Origin

Nigeria

Date

1875–1925

Medium

Glass beads, cloth, and leather

Credit Line

Gift of Deborah Stokes and Jeffrey Hammer

Reference Number

1994.708

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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