Ibori (Symbol Of The Inner Head)

By: Adenike Cosgrove Tagged:


The Yoruba believe that an individual’s character, behaviour and ultimate life destiny is pre-defined at birth by the individual’s ‘head’. As such, an individual’s head is highly revered and respected as an individual spiritual entity. This ‘spiritual head’ (i.e. a person’s individuality and destiny) is represented physically by an ibori which is created at birth. The ibori is filled with a sacred mixture of clay, sand and other ingredients concocted by a diviner (babalawo). The ibori is then kept in an ile ori for protection.

Distinguishing Features

    • Circular finial (representing the head)
    • Conical leather pouch (representing the human form)
    • Cowrie shells (or multicoloured glass beads) attached all over ibori

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