Divination Basket

SOLD. A rare divination basket from the Chokwe people of Angola. These baskets ‘ngombo ya kusekula’ were used along with the contents ‘Tupele’ by a diviner ‘Tahi or nganga’.

The diviner would mediate a multitude of personal problems for  clients, giving answers according to the lie of the tupele and their positions relating to the other objects, after a number of tosses in the basket.

Each Tupele would have a very definite, individual meaning, for example ; the ancestor, sickness, death  and so on. Some of the Tupele here have descriptions of what they symbolise at the bottom of their respective pages. The animal and vegetable ‘Tupele’ would need to be collected in certain ways for them to be effective. The same parts of an animal would represent different things in accordance with the way that the animal died. Manufactured, imported items such as coins or pieces of pottery would sometimes signify ‘infection’ from contact with foreigners.

The basket itself would have to be made according to strict traditions and any deviation or negative portent would curse the process and the basket would be discarded. 

Chokwe people. Angola. Early 20th century or earlier. Price on request.