African Art

Divination Implement (Kashekesheke)

early 20th century

Wood

4 15/16 x 2 9/16 x 1 15/16 in. (12.5 x 6.5 x 5 cm)
Charles B. Benenson, B.A. 1933, Collection
2006.51.35
Luba diviners are consulted for all kinds of problems or misfortunes: illness, death, marital discord, theft, pestilence, and drought. During a consultation, the diviner holds this device together with his client to invoke an ancestral spirit who will clarify the problem at hand. The motions of the device are interpreted as answers from the spirit.
Culture: 
Luba
Period: 
20th century
Classification: 
Sculpture
Geography: 
Made in Democratic Republic of the Congo
Status: 
On view*
Provenance: 

Alan Brandt, New York, to Feb. 24, 1982; Charles B. Benenson Collection, Greenwich, Conn 1982–2004; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.

Bibliography: 

“Acquisitions, July 1, 2005–June 30, 2006,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2006): 222.

Frederick John Lamp, Accumulating Histories: African Art from the Charles B. Benenson Collection at the Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2012), 97, ill.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.