Art and Initiation in Western Zambia

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

Ngombo ya kusekula (divination basket), Chokwe peoples, Chipoya Village, Zambia, 1992. Photo by Manuel Jordán.

These objects are called tupele, and they serve as symbols that relate to all aspects of life. A diviner will toss the objects within the basket and let them settle, “reading” the configuration of the objects that fall towards the front rim of the basket. The objects reveal the nature of a client's misfortune giving the diviner an idea of what course of action he should take to redress a client's misfortune.