Yoruba Agere Ifa

Yoruba Agere Ifa

Artist: Unknown Yoruba artist

Name: Agere ifa, divination bowl

Origin: Yoruba people of Nigeria

Made of: wood, pigment

Dimensions: H: 22.5” (59.5cm); W: 10” (18.5cm); D: 10” (19cm)

From: Gift of Dr. J. Hans and Thelma Lehmann, 1992

Accession no. 1992.01.004

On display in the PLU’s Mortvedt Library (2nd floor)


Description: This wooden sculpture depicts a kneeling mother with a nursing child in her arms, while carrying another child on her back. This maternal depiction reflects the revered role of Yoruba mothers as creators of new life. But her kneeling posture is also an expression of respect and submission and reflects the revered status of the deities. The carved bowl on top of her head is utilized in divination rituals, where guidance is asked for from Ifa, the God of divination.