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Necklace

Necklace

1900s

Cloth, glass beads, cardboard, wood

Overall: 49.5 cm (19 1/2 in.); Bag: 21.5 x 19.6 cm (8 7/16 x 7 11/16 in.)

Andrew R. and Martha Holden Jennings Fund 1995.23

Fun Fact

Look closely at the minuscule beads used to make the complex patterns of this multicolored necklace containing two pouches with thin strands that are connected by rope-like cords. A Yoruba diviner would have communicated with the spirit world while wearing this accessory.

Description

The use of colorful glass beads adds luster to the divination session and underlines the high status diviners enjoy in Yoruba society. Like kings, diviners derive their authority from the otherworld, orun. A beaded necklace with two beaded pouches is an accessory carried by the itinerant Yoruba diviner. Substances sewn into the miniature bags protect the diviner and ensure his power.

See also

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