About this artwork
This diviner’s tray is encircled with images related to the arts of communion and healing. At the top of the tray is the large face of Esu, the divine messenger and mediator between the spirit and human realms. On either side of Esu’s face are kneeling mothers making offerings in small bowls. Below one woman is a priest holding a staff indicating his affiliation with Osanyin, the deity of herbal medicine. Below the other is a soldier holding a crossbow and clenching an arrow in his mouth, suggesting violent change. A band of cowrie shells forms a border for the imagery, recalling the shells that would have been cast onto the tray during divination.
- Areogun of Osi-Ilorin , Yoruba (Culture)
- Tray (Opon Ifa)
- Nigeria (Object made in), Africa (Object made in)
- Wood and pigment
- 5 × 45 cm (2 × 17 3/4 in.)
- Laura T. Magnuson Endowment