Itombwa, wooden divination board, in the form of an animal, Democratic Republic of Congo, 1880–1920

Maddox wing test instrument, c 1920-1937.
A wooden divination board, known as an itombwa. It is carved in the form of an animal and was used by diviners of the Kuba people to answer questions about an illness. The flat back is covered in oil and water and rubbed with the wooden block. When the diviner mentions something important to the patient the block sticks – even when the itombwa is turned upside down.
 
Currently on display in:
The Science and Art of Medicine
Year made :
1880-1920
Inventory number :
A657310