Itombwa (carved wooden divination board) in the form of a stylized animal, flat rubbing surface without rubbing block, Kuba people, Democratic Republic of Congo, 1880-1920
A wooden divination board, known as an itombwa. It is carved in the form of an animal and was used by diviners of the Kuba people to answer questions about an illness. The flat back is covered in oil and water and rubbed with the wooden block. When the diviner mentions something important to the patient the block sticks – even when the itombwa is turned upside down.