Rare Lele Divination Instrument, Democratic Republic of the Congo
length 11 1/2in (29cm)
Richard and Susan Lee Collection, Washington, collected between 1979-85 while working in Kinshasa on an electrification project
A Passion for AFRICA: Central African Art, February 19 March 16, 2008, Archer Gallery, Clark College, Vancouver, WA 98663
Itoombwa or itwoom as called by the Bushoong, are rubbing oracles, usually carved in the form of a quadruped. The figure's flattened back is rubbed with a small wooden peg by the diviner during divination sessions. The present example, with a human face instead of the more common animal face, is very rare.