MSSU African Art Exibit : The MSSU African Art collection features a variety of authentic works of art from various tribes located throughout Central Africa. The objects in the collection range from mundane day to day grooming tools to ritualistic masks and statues.
Diviner's Rubbing Oracle
Object Name:
Oracle, Rubbing, Diviner's
Other Name:
Anthropomorphic, Itombwa
Place of Origin:
Kuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Africa
Aboriginal Indigenous Art.
H = 3—1/2"
W = 10"
D = 2"

Rubbing or friction oracles are created in many forms. The best known are the itoom rubbing oracles of Kuba and related peoples. These may take the form of animals such as crocodiles, warthogs, dogs, and others. They have a flat section on the back or top on which a small plug—like element is rubbed during the divination process. These have a fanciful variety of animal shapes and all exhibit the Kuba love for abstract geometric patterning.
Wooden and string rubbing oracle. Carved wooden four legged animal, with what appears to be an alligator—like head. V—shaped tail, geometric designs along either side, with a flat smooth back. String tied to head and tail, holding pawn—shaped wooden piece, in center of back.
Institute of International Studies Collection
Wood W/String
Ritually Used
Carving / Weaving
Art Department, Missouri Southern State University
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