Yoruba Diviners Sash

Contributed by Claire Timms

Click image 2 below to hear the Radio 4 interview about this object

Image 1 of 2

My parents are from the Yoruba region of Nigeria and according to oral tradition my surname was originally 'Ifashola' which meant that we as a family were apparently 'Ifa Diviners', people who could help foretell the future (seems that the fascination for spirituality has been passed down!)
My object is a hand beaded Yoruba Diviners Sash. It is embellished with raised beadwork of what seem to be alligators or lizards and what appears to be sets of twins known as 'Ibeji'. It's the kind of thing that would have been worn around the neck of a diviner. Beads were seen as status symbols and signs of wealth hence why Oba's (Yoruba Chiefs/Kings) would wear huge beaded robes as a way of proclaiming their status.

I like it not only because it connects me to the past but also because the craftsmanship is so fine. It would have taken someone hours even days just to do one panel. I love the vibrant colours and the movement within the piece. It connects me to the rich traditions of my forebears and reminds me of their spirituality.

Comments are closed for this object

Most of the content on A History of the World is created by the contributors, who are the museums and members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the BBC or the British Museum. The BBC is not responsible for the content of any external sites referenced. In the event that you consider anything on this page to be in breach of the site’s House Rules please Flag This Object.

About this object

Click a button to explore other objects in the timeline

Location

Nigeria

Culture
Period
Theme
Size
Colour
Material

View more objects from people in London.

Find out more

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.