Art and Initiation in Western Zambia

by Manuel Jordán
Musical Instrument Museum (formerly Birmingham Museum of Art)

Diviner Solochi with his divination instrument, Mbunda peoples, Kawanda Village, Zambia, 1992. Photo by Manuel Jordán.

The ngombo divination instrument of Mbunda diviner Solochi includes a small antelope horn, glass bottles with special substances, and a small can wrapped in cloth with two carved figurines. The figures, one abstract and one anthropomorphic, represent different aspects of his lihamba (tutelary spirit). This lihamba ancestor gives him the power to divine or the supernatural ability to “see invisible things” afflicting his clients.