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Yoruba Ifa Priest's Beaded Necklace Old Moon Beads Africa

Regular Price: $2,100.00

Special Price: $790.00

Product #: 90064
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Title Yoruba Ifa Priest's Beaded Necklace Old Moon Beads Africa
Type of Object Beaded necklace
Country of Origin Nigeria
People Yoruba
Materials Cotton cloth, cardboard, and beads
Approximate Age mid 20th Century
Dimensions 51 inches strand; 8 inch pendants
Overall Condition Good
Damage/Repair worn, loose strands, some beads missing, dust. Several moon beads are chipped or broken

Additional Information:  

A superb priest or diviner's necklace ( Odigba Ifa ) with two  triangular pouches (Apo) showing evidence of much handling and extensive use over the time. This necklace is made of very old beads (18th -19th century ) including the tiny bleu heart beads and the big white and blue beads commonly called Dogon beads made in Europe and used in Africa. 

According to Henry Drewal, these pouches "coincide with points of vulnerability: the ude isale hangs down against the chest and the ude oke rests at the base of the neck. It is said that inside these pouches are sewn certain substances for protection and power of the diviner" (Henry John Drewal and John Mason. Beads Body and Soul. Art and light in the Yoruba Universe, 1998, p. 234).  Prior to its use, the necklace would receive a special bath in order to be blessed. This necklace was worn by the diviner around his/her neck during important ceremonies, during the Ifa initiation process and at the annual festivals to honor deities.

The colors, abstract symbolic patterns  refer to the powers and identities of the the deity of divination, Ifa,  the figure to whom questions are directed during the divination process. Colors in themselves help recognize deities or principles; for instance, yellow and green are often associated with Ifa.

Recommended Reading:

Fagg, W. and J. Pemberton,  Yoruba Beadwork, Art of Nigeria, 1980.

Drewal, Henry J., Mason, J. Beads Body and Soul. Art and light in the Yoruba Universe, 1998

I have examined this piece and agree with the description
Niangi Batulukisi, PhD