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Rubbing or friction oracles are created in many forms. The best known are the Itombwa rubbing oracles of Kuba and related peoples. These may take the form of animals such as crocodiles, warthogs, dogs, and others. These examples have a flat section on the back or top on which a small plug-like element (missing on this one) is rubbed during the divination process. Itombwa are tools used by Kuba ritual specialists to locate the source of problems in the community. By rubbing the figure’s back, the diviner learns the answers to questions and can then help develop a solution to the petitioner’s specific problem. By manipulating the model, the diviner can learn the ultimate causes of different experiences in the world, even when these causes are normally invisible.

Itombwa Kuba Friction Oracle

  • Origin: Zaire

    Material: Wood

    Size:  2" W x 10" L

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