Set of six divination bones, Zambia, 1880-1920

Made:
1880-1925 in Zambia

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Set of six divination bones. Mashukalumbwe, Africa, 1880-1920. Top three quarter view. White background.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Set of six divination bones, carved in form of fish with familiar ring and dot design, Mashukalumbwe, Africa, 1880-1920

Divination diagnoses the cause of illness in many African communities. These bones would be cast onto a mat and the diviner would interpret the pattern. The bones are carved into the shape of fish. They are decorated with a ring and dot designs widely used in Zambia.

Details

Category:
Ethnography and Folk Medicine
Object Number:
A195114
Measurements:
overall (largest item, lying flat): 11 mm x 93 mm x 22 mm, 0.022 kg
type:
divination set
taxonomy:
  • divination object
credit:
Sothebys
status:
Loan: Wellcome Trust

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