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X2010.16.107a,b Mouse oracle bowl


Object Name: Mouse oracle bowl

Artist: Baule peoples, Céte däIvoire

Date/Era: Early 20 th century

Medium/Materials: Carved wood, woven cloth, ceramic, hide, plant fiber, rubber

Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA; Gift of Barbara and Joseph Goldenberg

Accession Number: X2010.16.107a,b

This figurative bowl was constructed to house mice for purposes of divination. The bowl’s interior is divided into an upper and a lower chamber, with openings to allow the mice to move back and forth between them. During consultation, the diviner would place in the upper chamber a metal tray arrayed with a set number of metal rods and sprinkled with rice. With the lid closed, the client would tell his or her problem to the mouse in the diviner’s presence. After allowing the mouse to feed, the diviner would open the lid of the oracle bowl and “read” the newly arranged metal rods.

Gallery Wall Text, Fowler in Focus: Radiance and Resilience – Arts of Africa and the Americas from the Goldenberg Collection, 2011

SKU: X2010.16.107a,b Category:

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