Diviner's Beaded BagArtist(s)YorubaArtist NationalityYoruba (culture or style)Object Creation Datelate 20th centuryMedium & Supportcanvas, beads, and leatherDimensions
26 3/8 in x 8 11/16 in x 13/16 in (67 cm x 22 cm x 2 cm)Credit LineGift of Dr. Daniel and Sandra MatoSubject matter
Beaded objects, such as this bag, highlighted the power and authority of their owners; in Yoruba society, only aláàsè
, or those who could mediate forces in orun
, the realm of orisas
(gods) and spirits were allowed to wear beads. Used by diviners, bags such as this one, called apo ileke
, would have held items essential for Ifa
(the process of divination). Diviners were so closely associated with beaded bags that they were also called akapo
, which means "carriers of bags".
Drewal, Henry John and John Mason. 1998. Beads Body and Soul: Art and Light in the Yoruba Universe.
Los Angeles: UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History. Physical Description
Small, semi-circular beaded bag with three beaded tassels and a braided leather handle. The base of the beadwork is blue, with three faces, two yellow and red flowers, and an interlace pattern decorating the surface. The outside of the bag is edged with yellow and red beads. Primary Object Classification Costume and Costume Accessories Primary Object TypepurseCollection AreaAfricanRights
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beadwork (visual works)
symbols of office or status