Yoruba Peoples Sculpture, Nigeria
Elaborately carved bowls such as this one were receptacles for the sixteen
palm nuts and other equipment used during the ifá divination oracle.
"Ife ( pronounced ee-feh) is today regarded as the spiritual heartland of the Yoruba people living in Nigeria, the Republic of Benin and their many descendants around the world. It is rightly regarded as the birthplace of some of the highest achievements of African art and culture, combining technical accomplishment with strong aesthetic appeal. From the 12th to the 15th centuries, Ife flourished as a powerful, cosmopolitan and wealthy city-state in West Africa, in what is now modern Nigeria. It was an influential centre of trade connected to extensive local and long-distance trade networks which enabled the region to prosper."