You haven't verified your email address yet

Itumba Kuba friction oracle two heads , Democratic Republic of the Congo

Lot reference 12840899
Itumba Kuba friction oracle two heads , Democratic Republic of the Congo

The auction you are viewing has now ended

Show current auctions

Valid bid!

In order to place your bid, you'll only need to sign in or create a free account.

Already registered?

Waiting for extension Lot closed Open for bids in Lot closes in:

Current bid $ 149
Next minimum bid $ 161

No bids placed.

$ 149 Bidder 1393
27-07-2017 09:43:56
$ 137 Bidder 0300
26-07-2017 12:58:16
$ 80 Bidder 9987
25-07-2017 15:57:59
$ 74 Bidder 2124
25-07-2017 03:52:59
$ 45 Bidder 7589
25-07-2017 00:04:33
$ 34 Bidder 2002
24-07-2017 22:35:50
$ 19 Bidder 7125
22-07-2017 21:03:02

DRC, Congo- Mid 20th century - Good condition-Provenance Gaëtan Schoonbroodt, Verviers.

A fine Kuba Itumba friction oracle with two heads, half men, half animal.
Provenance Gaëtan Schoonbroodt, Verviers.

W= 31 cm. Wood, complete with the rubber and rope, black pigments, fine patination , and extensive signs of use. On a wood stand.
Fine Kuba motives on the side

Kuba artists of south central Democratic Republic of the Congo create friction oracles known as itombwa. Regarded as infallible divinatory instruments, itombwa were used by the Ding, Kuba, Lele, Luluwa and Wongo peoples to mediate between diviners and omniscient nature spirits in order to determine the cause of illnesses and appropriate courses of treatment, as well as to expose dishonesty.
Itombwa often take the form of half man half animal figure, the back of the animal forming the rubbing surface. The animals, such as crocodiles, bush pigs or dogs, are associated with hunting prey or rooting out a plant, thus symbolizing a diviner's quest for knowledge and insight, as the diviner seeks to uncover the agent or cause of misfortune, controversy and suffering.
To quote William Sheppard, the first outsider to visit the Kuba capitol at Nsheng in 1892, "The [diviner] rubs the button-like attachment over the back of the animal. If it sticks the person in question is guilty, otherwise innocent…. [The] crocodile never lies is the native saying." The friction, that is the smooth movement of the wooden rubber, is created by the addition of specially prepared root juices and oil as it is used by the diviner. It does still have its wooden rubber.

Photo: 1978 notes from Patric Claes about the Lele Itumba.

A collection from various sources, among them a fine lele mask, a complete Kuba costume, and more .. See images
This statue from David Norden's collection is sold with a written description of the tribe and David Norden private opinion .
May be viewed or picked up in David Norden's Buy African Antiques Shop in Antwerp.
Free shipping worldwide .
Please note: seller guarantees this statue authenticity.

Be David Norden Buy African Antiques.  pro

Feedback score: 98.7%
Reviews given: 79
Member since: July 1, 2014
  • thanks

    KaptanKrunch November 12, 2017

  • Please note: some elements on this page have been translated automatically.
    Toujours du Grand D.Norden = Très beau masque Goli avec belle patine d'utilisation- pigments rouges intenses-FANTASTIQUE
    View translation Automatically translated. Turn off

    lovviere October 18, 2017

  • Please note: some elements on this page have been translated automatically.
    Alles perfect in orde. Zeer goede aankoop.
    Nogmaals dank. Jos belde
    View translation Automatically translated. Turn off

    Josbelde October 9, 2017

  • Please note: some elements on this page have been translated automatically.
    Allways perfect transactions, excellent seller.
    View translation Automatically translated. Turn off

    fernando4878 August 31, 2017

  • Please note: some elements on this page have been translated automatically.
    Ce masque Guere/Wobe dégage à la fois force et sérénité. De plus le masque a été livré en 24h chrono!!! Du jamais vu......
    View translation Automatically translated. Turn off

    lovviere August 24, 2017

View all 79 reviews

Free shipping

You won't have to pay any shipping costs for this lot.


The seller will ship the item(s) within 3 working days after receiving confirmation of payment. Some sellers may offer the possibility of picking up items by arrangement.

Pick Up

You can pick up this lot from the seller: Antwerpen (Vlaanderen), Belgium.

Buy & sell special objects at our auctions
All auctions


Your bidding privileges have been revoked due to an outstanding payment. You can no longer place bids.

Once your payment has been processed, your bidding privileges will immediately be restored. Please note: if you choose manual transfer, processing your payment and restoring your bidding privileges may take up to 2 business days. We therefore recommend using one of the direct payment methods available from our payment screen.

Click here to pay

Not registered yet?
By creating your free Catawiki account, you’ll be able to bid on any of our 35,000 special objects up for auction every week.
or Sign in

Never miss another special object!

Catawiki auctions off 30,000 special objects every week. Leave your email address, and we will send you free updates on our special objects and great discounts.

No, I'm not interested in special objects or discounts