West Africa, Nigeria, Yoruba peoples, ca. early to mid-20th century CE. A hand-carved wooden divination board of a rectangular form that has slightly concave peripheries, pointed corners, and a recessed face. The borders are incised with intricate linear and zigzagging motifs that culminate with the top half of a stylized face along the top. The face - representing the Orisha named Eshu - bears protruding eyes beneath bushy brows, a prominent nose, and a coiffure composed of incised checkerboard patterns. The recessed center is meant to receive various sacred materials used during the divination process. Size: 15.3" L x 10.375" W (38.9 cm x 26.4 cm)
Provenance: private Arcadia, California, USA collection, acquired prior to 2000
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Nicks and abrasions to borders, face, recessed obverse, and verso, with a couple of stable hairline fissures along peripheries, and light encrustations within some recessed details, otherwise intact and very good. Wonderful patina and smooth surfaces throughout. Mounted on verso with loop screw for display purposes.