Luba Peoples, D.R. Congo
H: 11.5 inches, L: 22.5 inches, W: 15.5 inches
Diviners are master problem solvers of the Luba society; addressing crises and conflicts that threaten individuals and communal well-being. They use baskets, pots and vessels such as this type to store medicinal herbs to cure persons with illness. This vessel, intricately carved out of a single block of wood, was used in the context of divinatory rites. The feminine figures on both sides of the vessel would be seen as spouses of the spirits that possessed the diviners and to who were attributed curative powers. The two Lizard motifs on top of the vessel, are presumed to be protectors of the contents in the vessel, and are part of the Luba mythology.